Meet Richard, a mobile money agent, near my home, a consistent source of inspiration. He puts to shame those of us with no disability but are full of excuses as to why we can’t work/get a job done/be good and useful community members. He’s a SUPERB example of heart and work ethic, one I strive to emulate.
Everyday, except Saturday when he goes to church, Richard is out at the crack of dawn to serve his loyal customers. Many a time I tried to beat him out and never once succeeded, he’s that committed. I’m even embarrassed sometimes when I drag myself out of bed because I’m fully independent while he’s disabled. He loved his work and his customers love him to keep coming back.
Unfortunately, when it rains or when there’s a dust storm on our extremely dusty road, whose completion has taken far too long, Richard has to hurriedly fold up and rush home, with the help of one of our guys at home. He needs to have a kiosk which would improve his efficiency especially on those rainy days when he has to rush to pack up. My husband has tried without success to secure one through a few centers. He even wanted to have one made but were told it wouldn’t work and therefore appealing We decided to help him get a kiosk from MTN and haven’t had success.
Richard’s is a great example, teaching us there’s simply no obstacle we can’t overcome when we commit to earning an honest income and meaningfully contributing to our community/country.
I’m appealing to MTN to help us help Richard build a better business. He is committed and loved, I have no doubt he shall excel. Thank you.
My family and I went to vote this morning.
My brother Brek in high spirits kicked us off with this on the way saying, A family that votes together progresses together.. Hatutachoka kwa mobile 🔴⚪🔵 💙💛💚
Mum: I voted because of AGACIRO (dignity/value) and continued progress in building the best Rwanda for my children and their children…
Barry (my baby brother with the cap) He says: UMVA (listen) : I’ve never known/seen a President like our loved Pres. Paul Kagame and therefore voted to make sure we continue building the Rwanda we dream of #NdandambaraYanteraUbwoba
Janet (my sister): I voted because of Agaciro, he gave us girls/women a voice, peace, and he’s given Rwanda a great name across the world. I trust my future is secure with my vote.
Brek (my DJ brother in red): Continued Development and the opportunity for youth to participate in building the country.
Last but not least: yours truly😃. I voted for:
- Exemplary Leadership which is like no other on this continent, inspiring many Rwandans and Africans to meaningfully participate in our development
- Exemplary Leadership which truly cares about THE PEOPLE and makes sure those in authority are delivering for the people, NOT robbing us of our resources
- Exemplary Leadership which values UNITY and contribution by EVERYONE, young or old, man or woman
- Exemplary Leadership which makes sure INCLUSION is in everything they do
- Exemplary Leadership which not only advocates for Rwandans but also for Africans
Here’s to greater progress for Rwandans as voted by Rwandans.
23 years of consistent infrastructure development is another reason to vote for progress with RPF Inkotanyi led by President Kagame.
If you appreciate economic development you know we can’t succeed without good infrastructure. In the last 7 years, I’ve witnessed consistent infrastructure development, and the results are here for all to see.
- Electricity access has increased nationwide with our districts going from only 4% to 27% coverage. We are now tapping into methane gas deposits and solar as we head to at least 80% coverage by 2020.
- Clean water access has increased as well for hundreds of thousands of households, growing from 30% to near 80% in our districts.
- Mobile phone penetration has increased from under 30% in 2010 to over 80% present day. Thanks to government removing taxes on ICT tools.
- Internet access has increased from less than 1% in 2010 to nearly 40% thanks to the government’s completion of the a fiber optic network across the country, and procurement of bandwidth which took us from 128Kbps in 2010 to 4G speeds today. This and more is a result of deliberate policy decisions and investments by government, championed by none other than President Kagame himself.
- Roads: what can I say about roads – evidence is there for all to see. Feeder roads in the hundreds, many tarmac have relieved traffic on our main roads. It is fantastic to see all the big roads in progress to becoming highways.
- Markets are no longer made with firewood/mesh. We have modern and dignified markets nationwide.
- Kigali Convention Center must get its own special mention because it represents resilience and the many jobs which have come in the services sector. You know Rwanda is working to become a services driven economy. Thanks to infrastructure like KCC, we are well on our to become a meetings hub.
- Hotels to support our growing visitors have grown in number, including world renown chains have set up in Rwanda. We now host meetings with over 3000 guests. Each meeting hosted = jobs for hundreds.
- Kigali International Airport is a leading airport on the continent as one of the most efficient. Civil Aviation expanded it to host hundreds of thousands travelers who are happy to be in a clean and efficient airport. We now look forward to our brand new and even bigger airport.
- Last but not least, we get to Fly our very own airline, Rwandair, to the rest of the world. As a frequent flyer I can tell you, as soon as I enter the plane from one of their growing destinations I feel right at home and I’m sure many feel the same.
Countless achievements and no doubt there’s lots more to do to grow our infrastructure. I’ll be voting for the winning team of RPF Inkotanyi led by President Paul Kagame to ensure we continue to achieve. Join me.
The second reason I’ll be voting for continued progress with RPF Inkotanyi is empowerment, particularly women. In the last 7 years being on the ground, I can honestly say I have never felt more empowered.
In every village across the country, women have equal access to services and opportunities and it is evident when I move around. We are leaders in respective sectors and advocates for other women, without being sidelined. Instead we are fully supported and organizations without at least 30% women ar scrutinized.
Who you vote for is obviously personal and taking from my own journey, I’m certain I’d not have a career in economic development today without the opportunity I’ve had in Rwanda. I mean:
- Where else in the world does a government ensure women aren’t outnumbered in the legislative arm of governance (parliament)?
- Where else in the world does cabinet include at least 40% women, consistently?
- Where else in Africa and really the world would a young woman like me, straight out of graduate school have the opportunity to LEAD the development of a national technology plan, LEAD the national ID agency, LEAD communications for the presidency / BE director of cabinet, BE Permanent secretary, BE Cabinet Member leading doing business for government, BE LEAD speech writer? I could go on and on.
- Where else would a group of passionate young women quickly gain government support in promoting STEM among girls, and be given a platform to run a continental competition #MsGeek?
- Where else on the continent is girls education and wellbeing championed than in Rwanda? More girls are enrolled in school today than ever before and government is doing all it can to collaborate with parents to keep girls in school. We can continue this great progress.
- Where else on the continent do we have a President who is truly HeForShe and is THE top champion for women?
These are only a few the realities I’ve observed/experienced during my time in Rwanda. It is only LEADERSHIP which believes in gender equality and equity and ensures EVERYONE is involved in building a secure future for our country. And more specifically, the leadership of President Kagame.
I’m sure there are millions of stories to share as evidenced by the numbers of women out campaigning for continued progress in achieving gender equality and equity in Rwanda with RPF Inkotanyi led by President Kagame. I proudly join them.
7 years ago today, I had the privilege of coming home to be part of building my country. It has been an indescribable life changing time. Many highs to celebrate and these are what will be guiding my vote in 7 days. I’ll share my 7 top reasons to round out and celebrate 7 years of consistent progress in Rwanda, something many Africans don’t get to enjoy.
First, we’ve made significant steps in improving the wellbeing of Rwandans, EVERYWHERE. This is the number one reason we go to work each day and thankfully, we have been led by a government working to deliver for the people.
For the last 7 years, I’ve seen and read stories of positive transformation among the elderly and poorest among us
- Many elderly receive a small monthly amount to buy food and more as well as health insurance.
- Thanks to the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP) the poorest among us and are capable of working are given work opportunities to earn a living. For example, they are the ones who keep our streets clean each day and other VUP projects.
- Many of the neediest among us have received the gift of a home thanks to initiatives by communities, government, private sector and our fantastic Rwanda Defense Forces.
- There are no more grass thatch houses in Rwanda because citizens and government came together to ensure each home had iron sheets. Bye-bye Nyakatsi came and went.
- Girinka – the best poverty eradication initiative has provided cows to over 120,000 poor families, improving nutrition and fighting malnutrition, providing fertilizer and income to build the family
- Access to affordable healthcare for all is a reality in Rwanda thanks to decisive policy to avail affordable insurance, Mutuelle to millions. In Rwanda healthcare is a right while other countries are struggling to make it happen.
We have made great progress and no doubt a lot remains to be done. The only way to continue this great work is to vote for progress with RPF Inkotanyi. I’ll be voting for continued progress in improving Rwandans welfare and it is my hope you will also vote wisely.
Few years back I wrote about a dream to pay digitally in one of Kigali’s most popular markets, Kimironko. Fast forward to last month when I got this picture, taken in Kimironko market – I broke down and cried, this time tears of joy because I’m seeing a dream come to life.
And then, landing at Kigali International Airport few weeks back and seeing huge billboards with tools for Rwandans to be a part of making #CashlessRwanda made my day and quite possibly my year.
And as I was waiting for my luggage saw this sign from Ecobank asking us to carry a card NOT cash.
These three billboards represent a dream realized. God is Faithful.
This wouldn’t have been possible without our government’s leadership believing in and supporting #CashlessRwanda efforts.
2011 we begun the work to build Rwanda’s foundation for financially inclusive digital economy. Since then, I’ve the opportunity to work on all aspects ensuring we realize that goal.
To the extent that we can now see and hear #CashlessRwanda messages such as these in place means the foundation is in place. This makes my heart sing. I dream of seeing the same across Africa.
For you working hard on a dream know this, it is possible and it can take time. When the going gets tough, and boy did it ever, you can’t afford to give up, you must never give up until I pray you get the opportunity to see wat you have envisioned come to life.
Put your heart in the Work.
Keep the Faith.
Don’t ever give up.
To our the men and women in uniform who gave everything including their lives to liberate our Rwanda, we thank you.
I fondly remember and celebrate my uncles and cousins who left their families, jobs and school to go to the frontline. Some never said goodbye in hopes they’d come back to us, or that they’d be stopped because they were so young, we salute you. We miss you terribly and pray you are proud of the work we are doing to continue the work you started.
To our grand parents and parents who gave of themselves, their hard earned/hard to come buy monies to support those on the frontline, we thank and salute you. You organized events to raise money for food, blankets, uniforms, name it, so those on the frontline could have supplies for a liberation struggle which took four long years. Thank you.
Today, we stand tall and proud to be Rwandans, in Rwanda. We live in a United and liberated Rwanda, focused on making our country the best it can be, a great home for our children and generations after.
They say, there’s no place like home and no doubt there’s no place like OUR HOME, RWANDA.
Thank you our liberators. Because of you, WE ARE. Thank you!