President Paul Kagame has commended Rwandans for being resilient against the hard times that were caused by COVID-19 pandemic for the second year (2021) which elapses within four days.
The economy, he said, grew and the trend is expected to continue next year, thanks to a resolve the country has taken to protect its people during these challenging times.
“Our country has had to learn fast and adjust to the new challenges of this new threat as it evolves. However, we have made good progress and the state of our nation is strong,” president said on the public broadcasting television, December 27.
“I want to thank all Rwandans for your hard work and commitment to development and wellbeing of each other and of our country, particularly during these challenging times.”
The president said the challenges Rwanda had to deal with this year principally emanate from health, economy and security sectors.
“One important way we have sought to protect Rwandans is through comprehensive nation-wide vaccination against COVID-19,” Kagame said while sharing figures according to which so far, 80% of Rwandan population aged 12 years and above has received at least one vaccine dose.
This said, the president could not go without acknowledging those that contributed vaccines and other support that goes in line with protection of Rwandans against the pandemic.
In this matter however, Rwanda cannot sit back and expect to rely on handouts for eternity and expect to overcome.
“Going forward, we must be self-reliant and better prepared for future shocks,” said the President.
“This is why we are partnering with African Union, the European Union as well as companies like BioNTech, to manufacture vaccines and other pharmaceuticals in Rwanda starting next year.”
Kagame further said that the country made prudent decisions this year and in result, Rwanda’s economy experienced strong growth, which is expected to sustain.
“Rwanda’s early investments in digitisation have proven to be an asset, preventing our society from being crippled by this pandemic, and future ones,” Kagame said.
“We encourage all Rwandans, especially our young people, to continue to innovate and create solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
Among other sectors of economy, the president mentioned the agriculture sector which he said, continues to be key, contributing 25% to the national economy in 2021.
“Rwanda remains food secure, with sufficient reserves. I would like to thank our farmers, for their resilience in these times,” he said.
He further said that regional and continental integration remains at the forefront of Rwanda’s agenda.
“We are strengthening existing bilateral ties, with countries in our region and beyond, as well as exploring new, mutually beneficial areas of cooperation,” Kagame said.
“Rwanda is able to pursue these forms of cooperation because the security and stability of our country is assured, and it remains a top priority.”
The president also said that the country will ensure that anyone who threatens the safety and security of Rwandans is brought to justice, and held accountable.