By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti
President Paul Kagame has assured Rwandans that the country was building its capacity to start manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines and other medications within the country in a bid to raise the level of protection.
The head of state was made the affirmation while delivering his speech on Sunday as the country celebrated Liberation Day.
The day is celebrated every year on July 4, signaling the day when the then Rwanda Patriotic Army put an end to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and liberated the country.
“In keeping with our goal of self-reliance, we are working to build our capabilities to manufacture vaccines and other medications in Rwanda,” he said.
“This will reduce our dependence on supply sources that are unpredictable or dependent on other interests. But this will take time and we have to be patient,” he added.
Kagame said that fighting COVID-19 was a continuation of Rwanda’s efforts to liberate its citizens even more.
President added that “Some relief is on the way, in terms of vaccines, to raise the level of protection, starting with those most at risk, and eventually reaching as many Rwandans as possible,”
He noted that twenty-seven years ago, Rwandans joined hands to liberate our country and hailed Rwandans for having worked together to build the country as they sustain all gains together.
“Ever since we have worked together every day to renew our society and make Rwanda the best it can be for each one of us,” he said.
“Today, Rwanda is not just a place on the map,” he said.
“For us, it means something that we can all identify with and be proud of, and in which we feel valued, Rwanda means hope. It means that we care for one another,” President added.
As part of celebrations, the state of the arts Kinigi Model Village, in Musanze district, was launched.
Worth Rwf26.6 billion ($26.6 million), the Kinigi Model Village was officially handed over to 144 families. The village was built by Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) as part of the RDF’s mission of contributing to the development of the country.
Besides homes for the families, the village has different community amenities including an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD), among other welfare facilities for low-income families.
“The Kinigi model village being launched, and other community projects that our armed forces have delivered, in partnership with other institutions, is a demonstration of our Rwandan solidarity, and we have made it a habit,” the head of state and the army’s commandant in chief said
He urged Rwandans to put in more efforts to fight COVID-19 pandemic whose positive cases and deaths are increasing.
“It is now more important than ever to follow the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health and other institutions to curb the spread of Covid-19 and save lives,” he said.
“We want every Rwandan to be healthy and free to pursue all the opportunities available to them, including in education, employment, and entrepreneurship,” he assured.
He said that the country was committed to working for Rwanda’s economic and social transformation must continue and accelerate.
“Beyond our borders, we want to continue fostering mutually respectful and beneficial cooperation with our neighbours, with the region, and globally,” he noted