BY FELLY KIMENYI
A senior congressman of the United States has said that Rwanda is leading the way for other African states in development.
After his meeting with President Paul Kagame, Congressman Donald Payne said that Rwanda’s improvement in areas like the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the areas where Rwanda has excelled.
“A lot of improvement has been registered in Rwanda since the last time I was here and Rwanda is leading on the continent,” said Payne shortly after meeting the president.
He commended the Rwandan government in general and President Kagame in particular for the continuous role Rwanda has played in restoring security in the region.
“We are pleased that Rwanda is playing a leading role in the restoration of peace in Darfur,” said Payne who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health.
Payne, a Democrat, has been in the US Congress since 1988 and he last came to Rwanda in 2003. Among other issues he discussed with the president at their meeting at Village Urugwiro included the situation of HIV/Aids, agriculture and the fight against poverty.
They also discussed the situation in the region including Somalia and the DRC.
“Payne’s visit to Rwanda is routine as he is in charge of Global health for Africa, to witness the improvement registered and to see how cooperation can be improved in different sectors,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Charles Murigande, who accompanied the president in the meeting.
He added that the discussion also centred on the revised mission of Darfur and what role Rwanda is likely to play.
Recently, the United Nations and the African Union decided to merge their efforts and have one peacekeeping force tagged ‘the Darfur Hybrid mission.’
Rwanda, which already has 2000 troops on the current mission, was approached to contribute more troops to raise it to the 26,000 strong force that is required.