KIGALI - President Paul Kagame, yesterday said that Rwanda’s economy has continued to grow steadily for the last 10 years.
The President was addressing the monthly Presidential news conference at Village Urugwiro.
President Kagame said that the secret behind Rwanda’s steady growth, even during periods of global economic challenges, is the determination of the people and the government to ably continue steering the country forward.
The Head of State said that the country has maintained stable growth amidst food, fuel and financial crises that have hit the world in the last 10 years and that the government will ensure that tempo is maintained.
“We have had these instabilities globally that affect us, but we have survived and continued with stable growth for various reasons, mainly hinged on how ably we have steered our economic growth and development,” Kagame said.
“We have done so within Rwanda, building on the different factors available to us and within our means. Even currently, the situation is bound to happen with the instability and different problems going on in North Africa and the Gulf region.”
The President noted that oil production has been affected resulting into high oil prices and inflation but the country has persisted and maintained a sound footing, based on the foundation and good management of different of aspects of the economy.
President Kagame said that the situation is expected to get much better, noting, however, that some things are beyond “our control” but the country will continue doing what is within its capacity and area of jurisdiction to address the challenges.
“We will continue confronting, as we can, these challenges as there are those that are within our means,” he noted.
He pointed out that the country has maintained a “decent” attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), adding that the target is to draw many more foreign investors.
“If you look at last year alone, we had over US$500m of investment by both domestic and foreign investors, in various sectors of the economy. This had a huge impact on the economy and of course the country’s development,” Kagame said.
The President said that even in other parts of the country, beyond the city, there has been growing investment in different sectors especially agribusiness, tea and coffee, energy, telecoms, banking sector and tourism, which have all realized huge returns.
“Over all, the figures show us that it is a decent flow of Foreign Direct Investment and we want more. There is always thirst for more and we hope we will get more if we continue doing what we are doing,” he said.
The Head of State expressed optimism that the EAC Common Market Protocol will overcome the challenges it is facing today to serve the purpose it was established for.
He, however, noted that progress has been registered on many fronts in the integration process.
President Kagame said that his position in support of the UN Resolution on Libya was purely based on the need to protect the citizens from the ongoing violence but that did not change his perceptions and beliefs on Western double standards.
He noted that the situation had deteriorated to a level where intervention was needed to resolve the conflict that had arisen between the people and the country’s leader, leading to loss of many lives.
“The situation had gone beyond what is an internal matter, attracting the attention of outsiders---international community,” Kagame said
The President noted that hundreds of thousands of lives were under threat from their own leadership and this led to the UN Security Council to act, to avert a situation similar to what happened in Rwanda in 1994.