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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid