Kigali, 07 February 2017 – Today, President Paul Kagame visited the Kigali Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Gasabo District where he toured four factories manufacturing various high quality products from construction materials, to medical and laboratory consumables, to food products.
The factories include StrawTec, which manufactures construction materials; PharmaLab, which produces medical and laboratory consumables; C&H Garments, which manufactures garments for local and international markets; and Africa Improved Foods, which produces fortified foods.
In an interaction with SEZ business community, the Head of State said that it is not acceptable for Rwandans to import low quality goods while there are locally produced high quality products.
“This is an opportunity to be part of the global value chain but we should also satisfy our own market. We have to ensure that the investments made here benefit the investors, but most importantly, benefit Rwandans,” President Kagame said.
The President further reiterated that his visit is in line with the ‘Made in Rwanda’ campaign to embrace locally produced goods and services.
“A lot has been done but we need to do more to satisfy the local market and compete on regional and international levels. Embracing locally produced goods results from a change of mind-set. We have the ability to produce high quality goods,” the President said.
After his visit to the Special Economic Zone, President Kagame met with over 3,000 local leaders from across Gasabo District.
Convened at the Amahoro Mini-Stadium, the local leaders included Village Executive Committee Members, Cell Council Bureaus, Cell Executive Secretaries and Social Economic Development Officers, Council of Bureau of the Sector and Sector Executive Secretaries, District Council and Executive Committee Members.
In attendance were also representatives of Women, Youth, and People with Disabilities, Private Sector Committee Members at Sector and District levels and Joint Action Development Forum (JADF) in addition to opinion leaders.
In his remarks, President Kagame spoke about service delivery, governance, as well as security and safety. He pointed out that the challenges the country faces should pressure leaders to work harder and smarter.
“The most important is for each of you to believe that you have what it takes within you to transform this nation. Your commitment and determination is what will make policies like the ‘Made in Rwanda’ campaign a reality,” President Kagame told Gasabo leaders.
Calling on local leaders to shun corruption manifesting in any image, President Kagame warned that maintaining silence in the face of malpractices has consequences.
“All of you should stand up against corruption. You cannot stay silent and expect others to hold the corrupt involved accountable. Do not treat public resources as your own. Do not use them to help yourself instead of the citizens you serve,” President Kagame said.
The Head of State reminded local leaders that they should always aim to deliver to citizens’ expectations and use the best of their abilities to move the country forward.
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