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 Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora