We want to do more in terms of Positioning Rwanda on a Global Scale - Minister Mushikiwabo
Minister Mushikiwabo was speaking on a panel entitled ‘’The Rwanda we want’’ during the just concluded two-day Umushyikirano 2016. The panel also featured the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Amb. Claver Gatete, and a young Rwandan entrepreneur, Muhire Louis-Antoine, Founder and CEO of Mergims.
Sharing the vision of Rwanda in terms of foreign policy, Minister Mushikiwabo emphasized that Integration and Rwanda’s broader international commitments are one of the key components of the Rwandan foreign policy. She recalled Rwanda’s experience at the UN Security Council as well as Rwanda’s continuous contribution to the Peacekeeping operations.
On a regional level, Minister Mushikiwabo further underscored that Rwanda continues to partner with neighbouring countries in the East African Community (EAC), Northern Corridor Integrations projects and Central Corridor on Infrastructure projects. ‘’We continue to promote Rwanda’s interest in international and regional economic communities’’, added Minister Mushikiwabo.
Speaking about economic pursuit in terms of positioning Rwanda, Minister Mushikiwabo highlighted that though embassies; Rwanda continues to promote Investment back in the country specifically in Agriculture, Tourism, ICT Manufacturing, Education, Energy, Mining and Construction sectors. She talked about the newly acquired aircrafts by Rwandair explaining that this has enabled us to open up Rwanda not only to investors but will also ease doing business for Rwandans in other countries as well as promote tourism.
Expansion of diplomatic representation
Minister Mushikiwabo acknowledged the fact that today Rwanda’s engagement with the world is growing and that there is a will to do more. Minister Mushikiwabo explained to the gathering that the number of diplomatic missions with residence in Rwanda increased from 17 to 28. Nine (9) countries are represented by Honorary Consuls, and a total of 30 regional and international organisations have representation in Rwanda. Additionally, there are 44 non-resident diplomatic mission accredited to Rwanda.
She further revealed that Rwanda currently has 33 diplomatic missions covering 147 countries, regional and international organisations. In addition to 37 honorary consuls representing the country’s strategic interests in 17 Countries.
On the contribution of Rwandans living abroad, Minister Louise Mushikiwabo commended efforts by President Kagame for reaching out to Rwandans living abroad through Rwanda Day initiative Mushikiwabo. She said: ‘’Rwandans living abroad are now playing a key role into Rwanda's journey towards sustainable development.’’
Since 2010, there have been 9 ‘Rwanda Days’ in: Belgium (2010) Chicago (2011) Paris (2011), Boston (2012), London (2013), Toronto (2013), Atlanta (2014), Amsterdam (2015) and San Francisco.
Minister Mushikiwabo expressed gratitude towards all friends of Rwanda who continue to advocate on behalf of Rwanda and promote a positive image of our country.
On way forward, the Foreign Affairs Minister emphasized the need to reinforce what have been done, sustain the achievements and perfect some of the initiatives and improve. ‘’The Rwanda we want in terms of international cooperation and positioning is within our reach. We need to sustain our achievements and design together the way forward. To deliver this vision, there is need for more collaboration and coordination on our side as leaders.”
Themed “Shaping Together the Rwanda We Want”, this year’s Umushyikirano took place in Kigali at the Kigali Convention Centre from 15-16 December and was attended by over 2,000 Rwandans from all walks of life and friends of Rwanda convened to take stock of Rwanda’s transformation journey and devise new ways to deliver the country’s development.