KIGALI - The government has called upon the Rwandan Diaspora to embrace the different socio-economic policies that the government has adopted to foster development.
Addressing the Diaspora yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, Rosemary Museminali, urged them to exercise their democratic right by fully participating in next year’s presidential elections.
The meeting drew participants from 13 countries including Rwandan students currently persuing their education in Saudi Arabia.
“Due to poor coordination, you couldn’t fully participate in the 2003 elections, however next year, all Rwandans living abroad will be able to register and vote from their nearest embassies,” said Museminali.
Museminali also urged Rwandans overseas to play their respective roles in maintaining a peaceful and prosperous country, saying they shouldn’t be detached from the happenings in the country despite their being far from home.
“You posses the power to transform your country, we urge you to incorporate your investments with those of Rwandans so that together we can transform our country,” Museminali said.
The Diaspora, through its directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has established a Rwanda Diaspora Mutual Fund (RDMF) that aims at pooling funds and investing in Rwanda.
Citing the One Dollar Campaign, Museminali commended Rwandans living in the Diaspora for their continued effort to contribute towards the country’s development.
Records presented by the Capital Market Advisory Council (CMAC) show that Diaspora remittances have increased from previous years’ figure of $30 million to $40.1 million for the same half year period.
Earlier predictions had indicated that remittances would fall due to the surging global financial crisis.
Museminali also urged them to participate in civic education trainings (ingando) which will acquaint them with the country’s history, present and future and to fully exploit regular updated information resource that will be availed to them by the Ministry of Information.
“If you are equipped with the right information, you will be in a better position to represent your country.”
In his remarks, the information ministry Director General, Ignatius Kabagambe, called for coordinated efforts in re-branding Rwanda positively in order to woe more investments and foster tourism.
“We want our audience to get accurate information regarding our country, to destroy their ignorance,” said Kabagambe.
The group was also challenged to take advantage of investment opportunities present through the newly established capital market and in investment avenues to implement the proposed Kigali City Master Plan.