By Edmund Kagire and Lillian Nakayima


Rice farmers in Bugarama, Rusizi District show President Kagame their produce


RUSIZI – President Paul Kagame, yesterday, encouraged the residents of Rusizi District in the Western Province to take advantage of its strategic location to exploit the abundant trade opportunities that exist along Rwanda’s borders with Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Addressing thousands of people in Rwimbogo Sector, on the final day of his three-day visit to the Western Province, Kagame said that a favourable agricultural climate, water resources and access to the market in the two neighbouring countries, makes Rusizi one of the gifted parts of the country.

The President pointed out that the high demand for foodstuff, livestock and other commodities, especially on the DRC side, is an opportunity waiting to be exploited.  He assured the residents that they have what is takes to do business, and by exploiting the available trade potential, they will not only improve their standards of living, but will also increase the revenues for the country.

He further urged them to take advantage of the facilities the government has put in place, such as warehouses, roads and border posts to exploit the market potential.

Kagame cautioned the residents against smuggling, fraud, over pricing and other business malpractices that could hamper trade. He, once again, reminded the residents of the advantages of practicing modern agriculture – boosting their families’ incomes, as well as improving their standards of living.

The President reminded the residents that there is still a lot the country needs to do to attain the desired level of development, and it is the role of every Rwandan to work towards progress, beginning with their families, village and the country at large. He stressed that all Rwandans should strive for the well-being of their families by ensuring good feeding, prevention of diseases, education for all children and investing in income generating activities.

Kagame called upon the local government and opinion leaders to champion this cause by sensitising the people about owning the development process. He went on to alert them to be aware of politicians who come with empty words

The President thanked the residents of Rusizi for working hard to develop their district, but urged them to work harder and transform the district into a modern town.
Kagame, who had earlier visited rice growing schemes in Bugarama sector, stressed the importance of peace and security as a prerequisite to development.

The President later held an interactive session with the residents where he addressed a number of their problems, which were mainly related to land and the Girinka programme.

14-year-old Iris Mahoro Nzayibona, a student of G. S Gihundwe, spiced up the day performing two songs on democracy and good governance. She received a standing ovation from the huge crowd and presented a CD, containing her songs, to the President.

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