The cabinet meeting has approved offering Rwandan nationality to five people who have been contributing greatly to the country development.
The five beneficiaries includes David Toovey who works with Spruik-a local Public Relations and Communications company and social media influencer and promoter of #VisitRwanda campaign.
Also on the list is Yann Gwet, a Cameroonian author lecturer of journalism at University of Rwanda, and Dale Dawson, an investor, founder, Chair and CEO of Bridge2Rwanda- an organization that has helped to link Rwandan students to global education and attracted foreign direct investment to Rwanda.
Yann’s spouse Mrs. Sidonie Kouam Gwet and Dale’s spouse Mrs. Judith Dawson were also granted Rwandan nationality.
“I am proud to be called a Rwandan. It is a lifetime honor to be a national of a country I love with my whole heart. I am overwhelmingly happy,” Toovey said on his Twitter after the cabinet announcement.
Rwandan nationality is obtained on grounds of Nationality by birth on the Rwandan territory, Nationality of Rwandan origin, Nationality by marriage and Naturalization.
Since 2009, Rwanda awarded citizenship to nearly 1000 applicants.
Though the power to grant Rwandan nationality by acquisition is vested in Cabinet, these numbers could easily increase after Parliament of Rwanda in December 2020, adopted a new law governing the Rwandan Nationality replacing a law of 2008.
The new law increases the grounds for applicants with special skills, talent and substantial and sustainable investment or activities.
For instance the new law will see one granted Rwandan nationality regardless of the five years (5) required to the applicant to have been residing in the country.
Applicants with skills and important contributions in country’s development will be required to “have substantial sustainable investment or activities in Rwanda” and to possess a recommendation letter.
In September last year, President Paul Kagame said that Rwanda should be open for citizenship applicants with a burden to contribute to country development.
“For years, we’ve had people requesting to be naturalized Rwandans. I keep telling leaders, I hope they agree with me, whoever wants to be one of us should be given the opportunity, as long as they want to make a contribution towards building our country,” Kagame said on September 28, 2020 at the National Executive Committee(NEC) meeting of the ruling party- Rwanda Patriotic Front(RPF) Inkotanyi.