18 January 2013

Rwanda: Kagame Lauds Rusizi Farmers

President Paul Kagame yesterday commended Rusizi district residents for their efforts in agricultural development.

The President made the appreciation remarks while addressing tens of thousands of people in Muganza Sector on the second day of his tour to the Western Province.

The President pledged government support to ensure that the remarkable progress registered is sustained.

Rusizi is rich in food and cash crops. The area's main agricultural produce includes rice, maize, bananas coffee and tea.

The district lies at the southern end of Lake Kivu, where it empties into the Rusizi River. The district also contains the western half of Nyungwe Forest, a popular tourist destination and home to chimpanzees and many other species of primate. It borders the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

The Head of State urged residents of Rusizi to work closely with their counterparts from the neighbouring countries to boost trade.

He cautioned them against getting involved in conflict, saying that it will only destroy what they have achieved.

Using peat for energy

The marshlands in Rusizi contain peat which can be used to produce energy.

"We shouldn't have problems of electricity when we have natural resources that are able to produce the power we need, we should exploit them and when power is generated from peat, people in this area should be the first to benefit," said the President.

Peat extraction is one of the potential considerations for Rwanda to generate more power. Today, Rwanda produces about 120 MW of power and has plans to increase electricity generation to 1000MW by 2020.

Late last year, the government signed a Power Purchase Guarantee and a Concession Agreement with Hakan Mining and Generation Industry and Trade Inc. to develop and manage a peat extraction and electricity generating plant.

The project is estimated at a value of Euro 220 million (Rwf184 trillion).

President Kagame later fielded questions in an interactive session with the residents, where they discussed various issues that affect them.

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