News / Africa

    Rwanda ‘Committed to Strong’ Regional Integration—and Growth

    Louise Mushikiwabo is Rwanda’s foreign ministerLouise Mushikiwabo is Rwanda’s foreign minister
    x
    Louise Mushikiwabo is Rwanda’s foreign minister
    Louise Mushikiwabo is Rwanda’s foreign minister
    Peter Clottey

    This is Part Four of a six-part series on African Investment
    Continue to Parts:     1 / 2 / 3 / 5 / 6


    Rwanda’s foreign minister says her country is committed to strong peace, stability, integration among East and Central African countries.

    Louise Mushikiwabo made her comments a recent three-day meeting of the New York Forum Africa held in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. The group brings together international investors and African business leaders on the continent in an effort to foster partnerships.

    Mushikiwabo said Kigali seeks robust bilateral relations with its neighbors to better the lives of citizens in the region. 

                        Regional integration

    In an interview with VOA, Mushikiwabo said Rwanda works closely with its regional partners to dismantle trade barriers to create what she called “an enabling environment” for strong business growth.

    “We are the first country in East Africa to wave work permits for citizens of East Africa… While President Paul Kagame was chairing the East Africa community, he pushed for some of the trade barriers to be dismantled. So we do have a strong commitment to East Africa for our region to become a good environment for business,” said Mushikiwabo.

    Experts say Rwanda has recently become a tourist destination in the East Africa, in spite of the 1994 genocide in which hundreds of thousands of people perished. They laud the government’s development of the potentially lucrative sector.

    Mushikiwabo said Kigali has introduced a radio program to encourage citizens to take advantage of a growth in tourism.

     “We had to do a lot of [outreach] through the communities beyond the main city of Kigali where people know the other countries surrounding Rwanda…We went to the different provinces talking about the benefits of being one region,” She said.

     “Anytime we make progress in terms of our integration, especially economic integration, we always make sure that people are informed of the opportunities. We advertise, we go out of our way to let our people know what they can get in, say, Kenya or Uganda or Tanzania. We’ve also increased transport from one country to another.”

    The recently launched Rwanda Air flies to neighboring countries almost twice daily, and in some cases a few times during the week. Mushikiwabo also said there are also regularly leaving Kigali for other East African destinations as well.

    A desire to increase tourism has also brought increased internal security. Mushikiwabo said it’s been tightened following the 1994 genocide.       

    “We have made sure that security is the number one priority for the country where people can freely circulate on the territory, where people can walk at night, where people can leave their house unlocked in some of the neighborhoods…and we’ve more than just the traditional security measures also made the average person understand that security is something they need to be part of,” said Mushikiwabo.

                        Regional security

    She denied recent accusations the Rwandan military provided up to 300 fighters as well as weapons and ammunition to rebels battling government forces in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

    “It’s one of the areas that Rwanda and Congo has worked very hard on. After we normalized relations, we made sure that we continue to talk -- that our security and defense leaders meet often, talk often, work together have joint operations in the region,” continued Mushikiwabo.

     “We also very much put time and value into security in both countries…So we take security very seriously and that is how Rwanda has been able to move away from insecurity and even to grow so much, economically.”

    Mushikiwabo said Rwanda is committed to the economic empowerment of its people. She said the government is implementing measures to help Rwandans realize their economic potential.

    “One is to create economic opportunities, but before one gets to economic opportunities, one has to get the average citizen involved in activities that will lift people out of poverty  Wave done that [with] a number of programs…that are inspired by our own tradition. The tradition, which is not just Rwandan but very African, of neighbor helping neighbor.  We have taken some of these traditional mechanisms and injected them with a bit of modern finance, and included them in our economic programs.”

    She said the government is continuing to find innovative ways of creating jobs including encouraging entrepreneurship and adding value to the country’s main exports, coffee and tea.
    Clottey intervire with Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s foreign minister
    Clottey intervire with Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s foreign minister i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.