Rwanda President Paul Kagame has rallied his countrymen to embrace efforts aimed at liberating them from poverty and dependence, Chimp Corps report.
“Liberation has two stages: liberating ourselves from people and the consequences of their actions,” said Kagame on Tuesday.
“We liberated ourselves from bad leadership,” the president observed, emphasizing, “The next stage is freedom from poverty and depending on others for our livelihood.”
According to the World Bank, reducing the country’s dependency on foreign aid (which represents 30 percent to 40 percent of the budget) through domestic resource mobilization is critical.
While Rwanda has been effectively using aid for development, the country remains vulnerable to fluctuations in aid flows.
The Rwandan government intends to raise gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to $1,000; have less than 30 percent of the population below the poverty line; and have less than 9 percent of the population living in extreme poverty.
Speaking to thousands of residents who welcomed him to Nyabihu for the 23rd Liberation Day Celebrations, Kagame said, “When you rely on others for your survival, they decide whether you live or die. We know what we are capable of because we have seen how far we have come.”
Earlier, President Kagame and the First Lady visited the newly-built Shyira District Hospital that will serve over 200,000 people in the area.
They also toured the model village built by Rwanda Defense Forces for 108 vulnerable families.
Kagame told locals the houses given to them were not handouts.
“It is a foundation for you to transform your life,” he said.
“With good leadership and the right politics, each of us working together can build the nation we deserve.”
Kagame is serving his second and last term, and presidential elections are due in August 2017.
However, in December 2015, the Rwandan constitution was amended to allow the president to run for a third seven-year term in 2017.
Kagame has since confirmed he will stand for re-election.
He concluded by appealing to locals to “continue to preserve the security that has allowed us to achieve progress.”