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‘Rwanda is proof of Africa’s resilience’

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Cape Town – Rwanda was proof that Africa could “rise even from the ashes”, the Great Lakes nation’s minister of finance and economic planning, Claver Gatete said on Friday as he invited delegates to the World Economic Forum on Africa to its next session in Gitare.

Rwanda has averaged annual economic growth of just under eight percent in the period since 2000 and was repeatedly cited at the two-day event as an example of how to facilitate foreign direct investment. In 1994, the country was the theatre of the worst genocide in recent history as up to a million Tsutsis and moderate Hutus were butchered in less that three months.

Gatete said newfound national unity, political stability, security and good governance coupled with openness to investors were the reasons for the country’s turnaround.

“We want to show that it is easier, cheaper and better to do business in Africa.”

Renewed political strife in neighbouring Burundi has in the past month seen some 25,000 Burundians flee to Rwanda as deadly protests erupted in reaction to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Rwandan mining executive Emery Rubagenga said he has repeatedly been asked whether the crisis could repeat itself in Rwanda where Paul Kagame has been president since 2000.

“It will never happen in Rwanda, there will not be political contagion, the country is too strong and the situation is not the same. Kagame is in power because people want him there.”

Photo Simphiwe Mbokazi/Independent Media

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