Kigali, Rwanda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Paul Kagame has said Rwanda, like other countries on the African continent, was keen to convert its favourable demographics into economic growth and prosperity.
Speaking at the opening on Tuesday of the three-day global 41st Annual World Tourism Conference organized by the Africa Trade Association in collaboration with the government of Rwanda, Kagame said deliberate investment in the service sector is key.
“The services sector, in particular tourism, provides some of the best employment opportunities for our citizens and attractive careers for young people. Already, this sector is Rwanda’s biggest foreign exchange earner, but we can and need to do better. Harnessing the full potential of the tourism industry will require continued focus and investment on several fronts.”
Kagame said that the responsibility of government and other players in the industry was to continuously provide quality education and training so that Rwandans can fully participate as professionals in tourism and associated sectors.
“We are investing heavily in services and infrastructure to support the development of the sector. Our national carrier RwandAir continues to expand to destinations within Africa and beyond, and will soon have a more modern, efficient base when the new airport in Bugesera is completed,” he said at the conference attended by tourism stakeholders from around the world.
“We are also working to improve the road network and attract investments in conference and hotel facilities, such as this convention centre we are in today.”
Kagame also pointed out that Africans must take full advantage of new technology, particularly innovative digital platforms to attract more visitors, offer new experiences, and provide better services.