The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Self Empowerment Should Become Our Culture

editorial

President Paul Kagame has appealed to Rwandans to double their efforts in order to improve their lives in the coming year.

The President was addressing residents of Mageragere Sector, Nyarugenge district, where he participated in a tree-planting exercise during this year's last community work.

The president's appeal should be taken seriously because people need to work proactively to change their economic status.

In this regard, the government should be commended for having initiated programmes that make it relatively easy for people, including women to access low interest loans, agricultural programmes such as Girinka [cattle stocking programme] and the crop intensification programme designed help to reduce poverty.

So far there are so many examples around us of people who have transformed their lives by utilising resources at their disposal.

One particular story of a successful farmer in Gatsibo district who has been recognised by the President and rewarded a vehicle for his outstanding performance stands out.

Courtesy of his work, Apollo Rutagarama has passed on cows to more than 90 poor residents in his area and trained his neighbours in modern farming techniques. His quest for better living conditions turned him into a model farmer to those in Rwanda and beyond.

The most encouraging bit is that the President reiterated that the government is ready to support the citizenry live their dreams.

Economic liberation is the next phase for Rwanda and we need to work hard to be self reliant.

Prosperity and first world status that we aspire to attain are end-products that are built on painstaking individual actions which form building blocks. In principle, the actions that others use to prosper are the same that every Rwandan can use to attain prosperity.

The strategy of harnessing savings through sector savings and credit schemes is invaluable because savings can be utilised to undertake investments. The government has done its part, each of us should thus empower ourselves by tapping available economic opportunities or creating some for ourselves.

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