KIGALI - The Rwanda Diaspora Expo, held to raise funds for building a model village for the disadvantaged and poor families in Bugesera District, under the project dubbed “Bye Bye Nyakatsi,” kicked off, yesterday, at the Gikondo Expo Grounds.
The trade fair is part of the Rwanda Diaspora campaign to get rid of thatched houses in the country, starting in Bugesera where more than 500 houses, valued at Rwf 2.5bn, will be built.
There are currently about 6,000 vulnerable families in Bugesera.
The project started in April with a two-year target for completion. The construction phase is scheduled to starts next year.
Over 300 exhibitors, 80 of them from foreign countries are taking part in the trade fair which will last 10 days.
While officially opening the expo, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo commended the Diaspora for supporting their fellow Rwandans.
“Rwanda is proud to have citizens who wish to have a hand in the development of their country,” Mushikiwabo noted.
She observed that the project is in line with the government programme to settle Rwandans in community settlements (Imidugudu) which started in 1996, and whose major aim is easing the rollout of infrastructure to the villages.
She observed that the projects started by Rwandans, such as One Dollar Campaign, become successful.
One Dollar Campaign, which was also a brain child of the Diaspora, aimed at raising funds to construct hostels for student-genocide survivors, most of whom, otherwise, remained at school during the holidays.
“This partnership between Rwandans living in the country and those abroad should continue,” the Minister said, further calling upon the Diaspora to cooperate with Rwandans in the country to fast-track the country’s development.
“What you offer is not the most important, but rather your commitment to work together with other Rwandans in the development of the country.”
Mushikiwabo advised that the two projects, One Dollar Campaign and Bye Bye Nyakatsi should now be given emphasis before initiating other projects.
The One Dollar Campaign project is currently under the construction phase.