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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Rwanda Paul Kagame to visit Sudan to discuss bilateral ties

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- President of Rwanda Paul Kagame is to begin on Wednesday an official visit to Sudan at an invitation by his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.

“Presidents al-Bashir and Kagame will hold an official session of talks to discuss bilateral ties and means of developing them in addition to regional and international issues of mutual concern,” the ministry said in a statement.

The president of Rwanda would be accompanied by foreign, defense and trade ministers, it added.

According to the statement, a memorandum of understanding would be signed between the two countries’ foreign ministries.

“Rwanda is one of the African countries which have been firmly and strongly standing alongside Sudan in its just causes at the regional and international forums,” the ministry said.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry also praised Rwanda’s achievement of stability and development in a short period of time with the leadership of President Kagame.

The two sides are also expected to sign an agreement on establishment of a joint political consultation committee.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Kagame says Rwanda grows stronger despite many challenges

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Monday that his country has grown stronger and more united despite many challenges.

“We have had to deal with so many challenges, even impossible ones,” Kagame said in his state-of-the-nation address at the 15th edition of the annual National Dialogue Council. “But we rebuilt, stronger and more resilient than ever before.”

“Without doubt, our country has grown stronger and more united,” Kagame told the gathering, locally known as Umushyikirano, in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

The two-day forum, which runs through Tuesday, has brought together about 2,000 Rwandans, including central and local government officials, business people, civil society representatives, members of the Rwandan community in the diaspora and foreign diplomats to Rwanda. It aims to assess Rwanda’s achievements registered in the last few years and plan for the future.

Organizers said the event gives all Rwandans, both in the country and abroad, the opportunity to ask their leaders questions directly and discuss the country’s challenges, opportunities and growth agenda.

Kagame said the country can keep doing better, adding that hard work and the commitment to serve all Rwandans is what will lead to Rwanda’s transformation.

Rwanda registered 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in new investment and infrastructure deals in 2017, and more than 8,000 new manufacturing jobs were recorded in the same year, he said.

The “Made in Rwanda” strategy has already boosted production in 2017, raising exports by 50 percent, cutting imports by 3 percent, and slashing trade deficit by more than 20 percent from the previous year, Kagame said.

He said the country’s mineral exports have exceed the value of all other exports combined, thanks in part to more effort in value addition and new exploration.

Agricultural production in Rwanda grew by 8 percent despite such challenges as army worm and drought in some parts of the country.

The government has decided to invest in domestic seed production, to improve quality and also to reduce dependence on unreliable supplies from abroad, he said, adding that graduates are finding entrepreneurial success in agribusiness.

Rwanda’s power supply continues to grow, Kagame said, adding that to stimulate demand for electricity, the government will work with industrial investors to ensure a competitive tariff.

The national strategy for transformation, values for prosperity and youth at the center of transformation are key topics to be discussed during the National Dialogue Council, organizers said.

The central African country, which has risen from a genocide that killed about 1 million people in 1994, seeks to transform the country from a low-income, agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based, service-oriented economy with middle-income country status by 2020.

Rwanda also seeks to double the current annual growth rate to reach upper-middle income level by 2035 and high-income level by 2050, which will require an average annual growth of above 10 percent, said Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete during the 14th Umushyikirano in December 2016.

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Rwandan annual national dialogue concludes, youth’s
role for national transformation highlighted

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwandan annual National Dialogue Council, a forum where participants debate issues relating to the state of the nation, the state of local government and national unity, concluded Tuesday by highlighting the role of the youth for national transformation efforts.

First taking place in 2003, National Dialogue Council, locally known as Umushyikirano, is attended by members of the cabinet and parliament, representatives of the Rwandan community abroad, local government, media, the diplomatic community and others invited by the president.

The forum aims to be a leading example of participatory and inclusive governance, where Rwandans have the opportunity to ask questions to their leaders.

Tuesday’s discussions are chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and attended by other senior government leaders. Participants also include over 2,500 Rwandans from across the country and diaspora.

The Youth in Rwanda had a front role in the destruction but there is no doubt today that they are and will continue to be the drive of Rwanda’s transformation, said Rwandan minister of youth Rosemary Mbabazi at a panel discussion on youth at the center of transformation during the two-day forum.

Rwandan entrepreneur Jaures Habineza who joined the discussion said the post-genocide generations of Rwanda must have the humility to serve the country, adding that the youth are Rwanda’s pillars and the youth’s values will guide their way through transformation.

The forum also saw eight resolutions under the categories of education, health, economy and culture. They include stressing the need to keep taking necessarily measures and changes aimed to improve quality of education in all education sectors, increasing health infrastructures and capacity building of medical personnel, sensitizing parents about giving their children balanced diet, among others.

Rwanda has to take of drugs seriously and cannot allow Rwandan youth to go to waste, said Kagame in his closing speech of the forum, which he said is productive.

“You cannot afford to waste any opportunity. Drug abuse has lifetime consequences to your lives, some which are irreversible,” he told young people.

He advised the youth to mind the well-being and to develop patriotic spirit for their country, and shouldn’t let the fear of failure or taking risks stand in their ways.

He also called on Rwandan leadership to maintain key values of serving, respecting and listening to citizens, fighting corruption and abuse of office, using public resources effectively, as well as treating every Rwandan equally and giving women and girls the respect they deserve.

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Rwanda targets 35 perbcent urban residents by 2024

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda seeks to achieve 35 percent of urban residents in the next seven years from the current 17.5 percent, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente said Monday at the annual National Dialogue Council.

“In Rwanda we are targeting to scale up secondary cities across the country where 35 percent of the Rwandan citizens will live in cities by 2024,” said Ngirente when presenting the country’s national strategy for transformation at the 15th edition of the annual National Dialogue Council, locally known as Umushyikirano, in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

The two-day forum, which runs through Tuesday, has brought together about 2,000 Rwandans, including central and local government officials, business people, civil society representatives, members of the Rwandan community in the diaspora and foreign diplomats to Rwanda. It aims to assess Rwanda’s achievements registered in the last few years and plan for the future.

Organizers said the event gives all Rwandans, both in the country and abroad, the opportunity to ask their leaders questions directly and discuss the country’s challenges, opportunities and growth agenda.

Ngirente said the unprecedented urban transition will depend on Rwanda’s commitment to ensure that housing and other infrastructure projects in secondary cities are in place before 2024.

As part of the incentives to attract more people in cities, the government will continue scaling up industries and other services countrywide, which will also help boost the country’s export base, he said.

According to Rwanda Housing Authority, Rwanda’s six secondary cities of Musanze, Rusizi, Bugegesera, Huye, Rubavu and Nyagatare will be supported to better position themselves as locations that attract private investment through a specialization of their services.

Under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the six secondary cities will be developed to achieve the country’s sustainable, well-managed and inclusive economic growth.

More than half of African population is expected to live in cities by 2050, according to African Economic Outlook 2016 jointly conducted by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Center and the United Nations Development Programme.

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Rwandan artifacts return from Germany

KIGALI percent (Xinhua) -- Ancient Rwandan artifacts including pictures which had been taken to Germany have been returned to their home country, officials announced here on Sunday.

The artifacts include those used in Rwanda during Germany colonial rule such as pictures, songs and texts which had been taken to Germany after the end of its colonial period in Rwanda.

“We managed to get a lot of pictures in Germany that show how the life in Rwanda was between around 1898 and 1900,” Dr. Peter Woeste, German ambassador to Rwanda said at the inauguration of a new museum exhibiting the artifacts in Rwandan capital Kigali.

He said no body had seen the pictures before, describing them as still amazing.

“It is not about the colonial history, it should give Rwandans the opportunity to learn more history, it is an opportunity for many school children to learn more history,” he said.

The new museum is located inside the Richard Kandt house in Kigali city center, formerly Rwanda’s natural history museum hosting fauna and flora products which were transferred to environmental museum in Karongi, western Rwanda earlier this year.

The museum was named after Dr. Richard Kandt, first German resident in Rwanda who lived between 1907 and 1914.

The envoy said many of the pictures were found in Germany after deliberate search for them and cleaning to be put on modern display.

“We even found some tapes, where they have materials such as voices of traditions, of dances and music and of people who lived hundreds of years ago, and I think it is better to bring school children to study,” said Woeste.

The inaugurated museum was set up in partnership between National Institute of Museums in Rwanda and Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state.

             

 

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