President Paul Kagame, yesterday at village Urugwiro, hosted a 30-member delegation from the German state, Rhineland-Palatinate.
The delegation, led by Roger Lewentz the Internal Affairs and Sports Minister of the Rhineland- Palatinate, was in the country for a one-week visit during which they celebrated 30 years of partnership with Rwanda.
President Kagame acknowledged Rwanda’s strong relationship with the German state, saying that such partnerships based on mutual respect, beneficial activities and valuing one another, is what everybody wants.
“It’s self evident, the results speak for themselves. Our intention is to welcome and work with you, as much as we can to take the relationship forward and strengthen it,” the President told the delegation.
“We are making good progress with support from friends like you and others elsewhere but also building on the desire and the energy of Rwandans who really want to make a difference in their lives.”
President Kagame pointed out that visiting Rwanda was the best way to learn and discover more about the country.
“It doesn’t matter how many books, volumes you read about Rwanda. One visit makes it much better. It gives you a much better picture than what you read.”
The President further shared with the German delegation Rwanda’s journey over the last 18 years where the country has registered remarkable progress having risen from the ashes of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Our efforts focused on empowering people so that they are not spoon fed. It’s about empowering women, youth for the future development, it’s about entrepreneurship and allowing people to do things that enrich them, creating the kind of infrastructure that will allow people to create and innovate.”
Kagame added: “Africa is faced with many challenges that are common in nature and there is no reason why the state of affairs should remain like that. Rwanda, Africa cannot forever remain as recipients of generosity of others.”
“It has to have an end and this can only come from how Africans themselves, Rwandans can be able to overturn this. We need to raise ourselves to that level where we can be able to provide for ourselves.”
“It’s an issue of dignity, aspiration even with the young people, old, poor and rich we don’t want to be secondary citizens of this global community, we need to be partners,” the President explained.
During the interactive session, President Kagame took questions, explaining a wide range of issues including the root cause of the conflict in Eastern Congo.
Speaking to Journalists shortly after meeting the President, Roger Lewentz, the head of the delegation, said he was impressed by the progress Rwanda has made in a very short period and looking forward to building a stronger partnership.
“We are committed to strengthen our partnerships and we want to expand our collaboration in the areas of education, health, and infrastructure among others,” Lewentz said.
The Rhineland Palatinate administration pledged to invest in technical and vocational education and exchange programmes for both countries. They will also invest in energy, with a focus on renewable energy at the grassroots levels.
Other areas of partnership include urbanization of Kigali city and affordable housing technology.