19 December 2012

Rwanda: President Warns Against Reliance On Charity

Kigali — Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has spoken about the importance of self reliance and the dangers of relying on charity.

In the face of unending criticism, Kagame scoffed at the withdrawal of aid by some, saying Rwanda will sustain its economic growth.

He was on Tuesday breaking ground and laying the foundation stone for the construction of headquarters for the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) in Rusororo on the outskirts of Kigali, as part of activities to mark 25years of the Founding of RPF.

President Yoweri Museveni is expected to attend the Thursday climax of the week-long series of activities marking the silver jubilee at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.

Ugandan sources confirmed that Museveni is expected to jet into Kigali on Wednesday. Other African heads of state are expected at the Thursday celebrations.

"The more RPF grows older the stronger it becomes. This (headquarter) initiative is aimed at showcasing the Rwandese energy and capacity to be self reliant, and that no one can come from abroad and build our capacity like this facility."

"When donors come and build such facilities, they expect something in return. Rwanda has developed capacity to build our own country and sustain the activities of RPF since the last 25 years," he stressed, to a crowd of cheering supporters.

Kagame's remarks were in reference to a UN panel of experts which accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels in an addendum released in June, prompting several donor countries to freeze aid. The country has resorted to a self-help initiative termed Agaciro (diginity), aiming at self sufficiency.

Kagame urged Rwandese not to let the facility that will be equipped with State-of-the Art technology benefit only the Party, but to use it for training at a small fee for the benefit of the country.

The discipline that defined RPF, he dded, will also be the basis of the continuous struggle for self-reliance.

Earlier, Kagame laid a foundation stone of the National Liberation Museum at the historic Mulindi site in Gicumbi District. He stressed that Murindi was Key to the liberation of Rwanda.

Mulindi served as the Rwandan Patriotic Front headquarters from August 1992 to July 1994.

President Kagame urged Rwandans to know where they come from to know where they are going and what they must do to get there.

Kagame expressed confidence that building on the country's history "we will accomplish even more in the coming years".

Minister of Culture Protais Mitali said the museum will teach all of Rwandans about the liberation struggle and ensure it is never forgotten.



Today's New Vision newspaper article titled "Kagame blasts Western powers" misreported President Kagame 's speech given at the laying of the foundation stone for the new RPF Headquarters in Rusororo on Tuesday. President Kagame spoke about the importance of self reliance and the dangers of relying on charity. At no point did he mention "western powers" or speak of rejecting aid. Rwanda's good record and position on development aid has been clear and consistent: aid remains necessary for now and should be used efficiently to ensure it is no longer needed in the future. Also, Rwanda's Agaciro Development Fund was never meant to replace aid, it will be used as a complement to aid in order to boost specific development programmes.

Yolande Makolo, communications director, Office of the President - Rwanda

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