Ban on Plastic Bags Still Stands – Government

ban on polythene bags still stands

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has rubbished the narrative propagated by foreigners that natural resources in Africa are a “curse, information pills ” saying such talk is aimed at keeping Africans in shackles of dependency, poverty and slavery.

President Kagame made the remarks on Thursday during the beginning of a two-day visit to the Western Province in Rutsiro where he was welcomed by tens of thousands of residents from the district gathered at the local stadium.

Reminding the leaders of Africa constantly falling short of its potential, President Kagame pointed to the exploitation of Africa’s resources that has not resulted in transformation for the people of Africa.

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“The world comes to Africa, drains its resources and leaves us behind to run after them begging for their leftovers. We accept the status quo and go to church to beg God to help us when he has given us all we need,” charged Kagame.

“They tell us that resources are a curse. But I know of no greater curse than poverty combined and dependency,” he added.

The resource curse, also known as the paradox of plenty, refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources.

This is hypothesized to happen for many different reasons, including a decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors (caused by appreciation of the real exchange rate as resource revenues enter an economy, a phenomenon known as Dutch disease), volatility of revenues from the natural resource sector due to exposure to global commodity market swings, government mismanagement of resources, or weak, ineffectual, unstable or corrupt institutions (possibly due to the easily diverted actual or anticipated revenue stream from extractive activities).

The idea that natural resources might be more an economic curse than a blessing began to emerge in the 1980s.

The term resource curse thesis was first used by Richard Auty in 1993 to describe how countries rich in natural resources were unable to use that wealth to boost their economies and how, counter-intuitively, these countries had lower economic growth than countries without an abundance of natural resources.

Numerous studies, including one by Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner, have shown a link between natural resource abundance and poor economic growth.

Some argue that financial flows from foreign aid can provoke effects that are similar to the resource curse

Abundance of financial resources in absence of sufficient innovation effort in the corporate sector may also lead to the problem of “resource curse.”


Speaking to residents on Rwanda’s future, President Kagame emphasized the importance of citizens and public service to hold one another accountable:

“When citizens work together to achieve results, it is their right to demand results from the leaders they elected.”

Calling on all to reject the notion of an Africa destined to poverty, President Kagame urged citizens to work towards economic prosperity.

“We were not created to be eternally dependent. We were not created to be defined by poverty, disease, hopelessness or not knowing what tomorrow may bring,” he added.

“We are on a journey to restore dignity for every Rwandan. Every Rwandan should be able to speak for themselves, be self reliant and make their own choices,” said President Kagame.

He pledged to the residents of Rutsiro to increase efforts to ensure access to electricity.

The first day of President Kagame’s Western Province tour ended with a meeting with 1500 opinion leaders.

During the meeting, President Kagame called on leaders to be intolerant of corruption:

“We should not tolerate leaders who use resources that do not belong to them for their own benefit. Knowing our ambitions and the few resources we have, we cannot afford to tolerate corruption. We cannot survive it.”

President Kagame concluded by calling on all leaders to play their part in transforming Rwanda into the nation it deserves to be.

The tour of the Western Province will end with a meeting with residents of Karongi district.
A fresh Statement has been issued by the Minister of Information and National Guidance revealing that the ban on Plastic carrier bags still stands contrary to the previous announcement that it had been suspended.

The minister in the new communique issued last evening stated, cost   “Cabinet  directed the Minister of water and Environment to instruct NEMA to continue implementation of the ban of plastic bags of 30 microns and below until cabinet provides guidance on how to handle other types of plastic materials.”

The Minister noted that an inter-ministerial committee commissioned in 2010 was still reviewing the best implementation of strategies of the ban, this and that it would soon consult President Yoweri Museveni on the way forward.

In the meantime, website authorities were advised to maintain the ban on importation, manufacture and use of plastic bags below 30 microns.

After Six years of hesitation due to controversy among stakeholders on the Ban of polythene carrier bags commonly known as Kaveera, Government in April 2015 resolved to ban polythene bags that are responsible for Environmental Degradation.

Cabinet in this regard noted the need to strengthen Uganda Revenue Authority and Uganda National Bureau of Standards so as to stop the smuggling of plastics into the country.

Existing plastic manufacturers are to establish plastic collection centers across the country and intensify the sensitization of the general public on plastic waste management.

“All plastic manufacturing industries are to code their plastic products for trace ability of plastic waste generated by each industry,” the Statement read.

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