WHEN he was appointed Governor of Southern Province two years ago, Alphonse Munyantwari was aware that too many challenges awaited him.
But the 46-year-old, who had been until his nomination the mayor of Nyamagabe district, also knew that challenges bring solutions with them.
Two weeks after his nomination and a few days after the Senate cleared him, Munyantwari officially took over from his predecessor, Fidele Ndayisaba, now the Mayor of Kigali City.
During the ceremony at the provincial headquarters in Nyanza district, Munyantwari vowed to expedite the development of the province, which is a leading producer of coffee.
"We will continue to build a secure province, geared at developing rural as well as urban areas. We will also maintain good governance as the cornerstone of development," he said.
Two years down the road, the Governor looks back with pride, optimism and a positive eye.
He says the province has and continues to progress.
One of the areas which registered a significant growth is the development of infrastructure and agriculture with the construction of several agro-processing factories across the province.
Hotels, modern buildings and new markets have been erected across the major towns and business centres in the province, giving them a face-lift and pushing businesses to new levels.
Roads, schools, water and electricity infrastructures have also been set up, he adds.
Agro-processing factories, including Mushubi (Nyamagabe) and Kivu tea factories and Kinazi cassava processing plant (Ruhango), among others, have also been set up, while others are under construction with the aim of adding value to farmers' produce and enhancing their competitiveness on the local, regional and international market.
"This was possible due to efforts made to enhance the public-private partnership," Munyantwari said. "Most infrastructure, especially buildings and factories, have been constructed by private business operators. Of course, as leaders, we work to create a conducive environment for businesses, which attracts investors in the province."
Agriculture, livestock farming, urban and rural transformation as well as businesses, among other development areas, also registered significant growth.
Last fiscal year, Kamonyi district emerged the second best with 95.1 per cent in implementing performance contracts.
Other districts in the province scored between 93.8 and 86.4 per cent. Huye, which scored 93.8 per cent, was ranked number four on the list of best performers after years of poor performance.
"We are very proud of the job done," Munyantwari said, wearing the grin of a man enjoying the fruits of his labour.
But the Governor says the road ahead is still too long. He said, "We still have a lot to do to uplift people's welfare. With hard work, innovation, teamwork and cooperation from residents, I believe we will keep registering success in our quest to improve living conditions."