Kagame: Rwanda Must End Reliance on Foreign Aid

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has called for an end to reliance on foreign aid for development programmes in the country, price Chimp Corps report.

Emphasizing the need to preserve Rwanda’s dignity, abortion Kagame proposed the country must determine the timeframe within which donor aid should come to an end.

“Among the decisions of this dialogue, we should resolve to set a deadline which should come sooner rather than later, where Rwanda will no longer be waiting for what others hand out to us,” said Kagame.

He made the remarks while addressing this year’s National Dialogue at Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali on Thursday.

Donor funds account for about 20 percent of Rwanda’s budget while foreign loans also constitute 13 percent, meaning approximately 33 percent of the country’s annual expenditure is funded externally.

Additionally, recurrent uncertainties in the global economy lead to consistent fluctuations in donor funds and tax receipts, stalling development programmes.

Kagame said getting rid of foreign aid will compel Rwanda to do more to realize self-sustenance. “This keeps pushing us to be the best.

Our dignity is not about worth but self-respect and believing we can do it. Our motto is unity, work and patriotism,” he added. “It’s better to face things the hard way and get to the heart of any problem.”


If Rwanda succeeds in this area, it will have set a huge record which many African countries have failed to achieve. Kagame told the gathering comprising government officials, locals, media, diplomats and friends of Rwanda that the country “is strong and going stronger.”

He said over the past generation, Rwanda has been among the fastest growing countries on the UN Index of Human Development, “Meaning that we are not only making good progress but doing so at a good pace.”

He said Rwanda stands at a moment of transition.

“So it’s a good moment to take stock of various stages of our journey together thus far and look toward the road ahead,” he noted. “The first phase starting 22 years ago was about security and national unity. A sense of safety and belonging was restored.

This was followed by strengthening our national institutions,” said Kagame. He said the feeling of security, built on sense of fairness, justice and trust has been deepened.


The President who took power in 1994, said, “There is a future for everyone and all of us together.” He said for the first time, every citizen is seen as a stakeholder, “not as someone singled out and hunted down; categorized and denied livelihood or even life.” The President said independent international polls have showed that more than 95 percent of Rwandans report the highest level of trust of police and armed forces among the highest rates in the world.

“The importance of this fact can never be understated,” he observed. He said government continues to invest in infrastructure to connect Rwanda to the global economy and make Rwandans work in a competitive environment hence laying the foundation for economic transformation.

He said tourism is Rwanda’s number one foreign exchange earner, hence justifying huge investment in the hotel industry. “Along the way, Rwandans were employed and see for themselves that we are a special country which is a credit for all of us,” he said in reference to the construction of multi-million dollar Kigali Convention Centre.

He admitted that many Rwandans feel they are struggling to have a Rwanda they want. However, he added, 4 out of 1 used to live under extreme poverty but now the figure is getting closer to 1 out 10 Rwanda is now the second easiest place to do business in Africa.

“We used to struggle to survive now we struggle to fly and prosper,” he emphasized. He praised Rwandans for the patience and trust as “Our progress does not immediately translate into jobs or low prices. The period ahead is about to build these gains to achieve economic transformation – not only jobs but better lives.”

As the country prepares for next year’s election, Kagame warned against acts that could polarize the nation. “We should talk more about distinctive meaning of patriotism for Rwandans. It means loving the country,” he noted, adding, “The price of democracy is not division. Everything we have been through and successfully addressed shows we have the ability to aim high. That’s what we should be discussing today and tomorrow.”

This year’s Umushyikirano Council brings together over 2,000 participants including leaders from both local and central government, according to government officials.

The event is hugely significant in Rwanda’s governance as it provides a unique opportunity to locals to publicly hold their leaders accountable. The function is usually discomforting for non-performing leaders. The theme of this year’s conference is “Shaping together The Rwanda We Want”.

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