The Acting High Commissioner of Rwanda, Mr. Vianney Rubagumya, has commended Imo State for its fascinating culture and remarkable hospitality. The envoy was in Owerri, Imo State capital recently, with his team on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Culture and Creative Arts, Mazi Uche Ohia (Ph.D).
Treated to a lavish reception and taste of the people’s warm hospitality and cultural beaut, the envoy, who expressed appreciation and delight with the offerings of the people, also noted the wish to have a bilateral relations with the state through the Peer to Peer platforms, financial management, e-governance and cultural exchanges.
He said that Rwanda, known as the country of a thousand hills, was mainstreaming tourism development and branding itself as a conference tourism, ecotourism, and heritage tourism destination as well as an investment friendly location.
Rubagumya explained that he was in the state for further discussions with an Imo investor, who is partnering with the government of Rwanda in the provision of affordable housing. He noted that a common assumption people meeting him for the first time in Abuja usually make is that he must be an Igbo man.
He said he does not mind the assumption having found that Igbo people are industrious, enterprising and very hospitable. He said that Rwanda went through a very dark period in 1994 when genocide resulted in the death of over one million people.
However, he noted that Rwandans have put the tragedy behind them and that to- day the country enjoys steady economic growth as it has become the hallmark of development in the continent. The Rwandan envoy attributed the steady progress gained to the country’s leadership particularly to the development strategy of President Paul Kagame anchored on the three pillars of Accountvoy and his team to the state.
He said that Imo State shared many things in common with Rwanda. He listed the areas of similarity as resilience, patriotism, enterprise, resourcefulness and a penchant for thinking out of the box. Ohia revealed that the state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, is committed to providing adequate security and quality infrastructural development among others so as to create the needed environment for rapid economic transformation of the state.
Ohia also spoke on the innovative initiatives of Uzodimma, describing him as a visionary leader, who has taken governance to a high frequency level, despite the enormous challenges that bedevilled his administration from the outset, such as COVID-19, massive jailbreak, orchestrated insecurity and the menace of unknown gunmen.
He said Uzodimma has delivered tangible and intangible dividends of democracy to Imolites through quality road infrastructure development and rural electrification projects, the skill- up programme, dredging projects, health insurance, digitalisation of governance processes and other great economic policies that have up scaled governance, youth development and public welfare.
The commissioner assured the visiting envoy of his ministry’s readiness to partner with the Rwandan High Commission to synergise by harnessing cultural and tourism values and programmes. Also speaking, the Commissioner for Power and Rural Electrification, Kezie Ogaziechi, commended the envoy for the kind sentiments he expressed about Imo State.
He said that the speed with which Rwanda overcome the trauma and destruction of the genocide years to build an enviable infrastructure profile is worthy of emulation. He expressed the hoped that the Peer Review platform, which the envoy referred would be speedily activated for mutually beneficial interaction and exchanges between Imo State and Rwanda.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Jerry Egemba, who was also present at the reception, expressed pleasure over the visit. He said that he was glad to be present to interface with the envoy on tourism and other areas of mutual interests. He noted that Imo State and Rwanda shared a common interest in wildlife conservation and ecotourism.