The Rwandan population is expected to hit around 16 million by 2020. Given that the major aspiration of Vision 2020 is to transform Rwanda’s economy into a middle income country (per capita income of about 900 USD per year, from 290 USD today), this will require an annual growth rate of at least 7%.
This will not be achieved unless we transform from a subsistence agriculture economy, to a knowledge-based society, with high levels of savings and private investment, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on external aid.
Rwanda was ranked the 8th out of 52 African nations for economic development and is praised for the favorable investment environment at hand. Sunday Times’ Richard Nkubito had an interview with the General Manager of Top Tower Hotel, Mr. Thierry De Groot who said “if you don’t know that you want to reach somewhere, you might end up some where else”. Below are the excerpts:
Q: Will you briefly introduce yourself to the readers of Sunday Times;
A: I’m Thierry De Groot, the General Manager of Top Tower Hotel.
I’m pleased to be in Kigali. I feel the time is ripe for a new dimension in the development of tourism and the hotel industry in particular.
Q: What is your take on Vision 2020?
A: I’m very much in favour of vision 2020 because if you don’t know that you want to reach somewhere, you might end up somewhere else. It helps to redefine your own vision, mission statement and to evaluate the tools you have in order to reach your goals.
Only a strategy, plans and methods will help you along the way in your journey. You must redefine your own values so as to keep believing in what you need to do.
Q: How does Top Tower Hotel translate the Vision 2020 in its day to day undertakings?
A: Rwanda is already showing strength in achieving her objectives and so does Top Tower Hotel that only just recently opened. That already set marks as a new venue for business and leisure.
A hotel plays an important role in economic development and as a socio-cultural incidence in many fields; some locals become regular guests and foreigners return-guests. This creates a frame work of relationships that brings it to life.
Q: Any challenges so far?
A: In our industry, challenges are opportunities to overcome problems and to transform potentially upset guests into the most valuable regular patrons.
We should not forget that we are in an industry, where we face clients directly and where every contact, is a moment of truth to know if our services are efficient and up to expectations.
Q: What is your message to the entire community as regards the Vision 2020?
A: When you embark on a journey, you must always ascertain that you don’t lose anyone along the way.
There will be side tracks, but what’s important is that everyone is aware of his/her destination, aiming all at the same objectives. This will allow us to reach new heights together.