Rwanda's RPF party to focus on job creation

Thursday July 13 2017

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during the

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during the ruling RPF Congress on June 17, 2017. PHOTO | URUGWIRO 

By IVAN R. MUGISHA
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President Paul Kagame promises to focus on job creation and infrastructure development if elected for a third seven-year term in the August 4 polls.

In the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF’s) manifesto, the party that has ruled the country since 1994, says descent jobs will spur development and social welfare.

However, RPF does not offer target figures with the party’s spokesperson, Mr Wellars Gasamagera, telling The EastAfrican that the details will be made public on Friday when the manifesto will be released.

But statistics from the government show that it expects to create 200,000 off-farm jobs annually by 2018.

Currently, the government creates about 146,000 off-farm jobs yearly, according to the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey released in 2015.

Among key infrastructure projects in the summary manifesto is the new Bugesera Airport, billed as Rwanda’s largest, which is under construction after government contracted a Portuguese firm last August.

Mota Engil Africa targets to complete the project by December 2018. The firm will manage Bugesera airport for 25 years.

Mr Kagame further promises to construct 800km of national asphalt roads, and also rehabilitate 3,000km of feeder roads during the 2017-2024 term.

He also promises to build new industries and partner with the private sector in promoting ‘Made in Rwanda’ products.

RPF proposes to promote sustainable urbanisation, rural development and housing, and universal access to water and electricity.

It also proposes to address waste management issues and establish drainage systems. The proposal, however, does not say whether it will prioritise Kigali City's sewerage, a problem that has remained for many years without any concrete action taken.

Other proposals include universal healthcare, security and integrity by fostering good diplomatic relations with foreign nations, and strengthening the capacity of the army and other security organs.

Campaigns

Election campaigns kick off on July 14.

To drive its manifesto, RPF will have six campaign managers, a break from having just one. Former Mayor of Kigali City, Fidele Ndayisaba, served as the party’s sole campaign manager in the 2010 polls.

“We will launch the first presidential campaign in Ruhango District (Southern Province) on Friday. Other areas will be communicated later,” RPF secretary-general Francois Ngarambe told journalists Wednesday.

The party declined to disclose its budget for its three-week campaign trail, arguing that it did not want to “pre-empt the actual cost which could keep changing”.

“We have enough to cover the entire cost of the campaign. Costs keep changing so let us talk about the budget once everything is finalised,” Mr Gasamagera said.

President Kagame is expected to win the election by a landslide against opposition Democratic Green Party flagbearer Frank Habineza and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana.