15 April 2018

Rwanda: Private Sector Commits to Fight Genocide Ideology

Members of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) have vowed to foster unity and inclusive economic transformation as the two will go a long way in fighting discrimination and genocidal tendencies.

According to Stephen Ruzibiza, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PSF, some influential business leaders played a major role in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi and it is upon the current crop of top business moguls to erase the dark past of the private sector by fostering unity and reconciliation-not only in their companies, but among Rwandans as a whole.

Ruzibiza was addressing a commemoration event organized by the association of petroleum dealers at Kigali Genocide memorial on Friday. Over 200 players attended and paid respect to over 250,000 victims buried there.

He gave an example of Félicien Kabuga, who was regarded as "an extremely rich" businessman and the main financier and backer of the political and militia groups that committed the Genocide against the Tutsi.

"Imagine a businessman (Kabuga) financing the government to kill his customers. Which kind of businessman is that? We have a role to support the survivors, to promote unity and reconciliation through corporate social responsibility.

"We (the business community) cannot afford to sit relaxed and think that unity and reconciliation is for the politicians alone. We have the support needed and the resources to foster inclusive economic growth and push for unity within our companies, colleagues and among Rwandans in general," Ruzibiza said.

Genocide commemoration week is a time that "surely" reminds business people that there is a lot of pain and tears to erase from the survivors but also a big responsibility upon them to rebuild a nation that was at some point declared a failed state, according to Sarah Doukoure, Managing Director of Engen- Rwanda.

Doukoure's comments were echoed by Eric-Herbez Mutaganda, the Chairman of the association.

"By taking part in the commemoration, we commit ourselves to remember, to unite ourselves and seek ways through which we can rebuild the country," Mutaganda said, adding that: "There is way too much to do but we can't rebuild everything at once. All we can do now is to support the survivors, foster unity at our workplaces and also work with the government in the best way possible to ensure that Genocide never happens again".

The association contributed Rwf5million to Kigali Genocide memorial towards archiving of Genocide facts and educating young people about Genocide and its prevention.

"It is not a lot of money but it comes from our hearts towards a cause we believe plays a big role in promoting unity and reconciliation among Rwandans," Mutaganda added.

Last week, PSF also began works on the proposed construction of 32 houses for Genocide survivors in Rubavu District.

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