Resurgent Rwanda: An emerging star in East African Community.
The Rwandan government has registered tremendous development in all fields, and indeed making history the ugly chapter of 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people were killed.
National healing in Rwanda is among top priorities as the government uses anti-genocide legislation to enforce tough rules in Rwandese Capital Kigali to manage traffic flow, cleanliness, maintenance of law and order.
In the resurgent Rwanda, citizenship is being upheld, and the mention of ethnicity (Hutu or Tutsi) is unacceptable. Just say Rwandese or Rwandans, and everything will be okay.
President Paul Kagame supports East African regional integration. To him, the organization would benefit over 130 million people, improve citizens’ welfare, increase trade and investment, and promote regional peace.
He says that the region with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 70 billion US dollars, need to work together with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern Africa Development Community(SADC) in order to create an internal market of 600 million people and vast opportunities for the entire citizens.
The transformed Rwandan economy, as exemplified by Kigali city, has now shiny new skyscrapers, innovative business sector, entrepreneurs, thriving agricultural sector and minerals exploitation. Rwanda is also winding up traditional community tribunals, known as gacaca courts, handling 1994 genocide suspects. Already the courts have handled 1.5 million cases.
President Kagame, says that his country and the Democratic Republic of Congo has fostered peace and stability to facilitate progress in the region, adding that as the 54th member of the Commonwealth, it is now open to the opportunities of the world. He expects commonwealth support in the area of English language, legal reform, skills development and management of environmental issues. Rwanda is also a member of the African Union and Francophonie.
The Rwandan leader is confident that the commonwealth family would together tackle effectively poverty issues, economic and political underdevelopment, peace-building challenges, corruption vices, and environmental degradation.
He says East African Community is already a success story since it has established a Customs Union and signed a Common Market Protocol. Attainment of a single currency is set for 2012 while the deadline for political federation is 2015.
The East African Community members are now five. They are Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. The headquarters of the EAC secretariat is based in Arusha town, Tanzania. The current Chairman is Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete; the chairman of EAC Council of Ministers is Hon. Monique Mukaruliza of Burundi while the Secretary-general is Ambassador Dr. Juma Volter Mwapachu.