(eTN) – On the eve of linking Rwanda with 5-star flights to the rest of the world through Qatar Airways’ (QR) award-winning service – QR is the first of the major Gulf giants to fly daily to Kigali effective March 21 – news emerged that the Presidential Advisory Council met with President Kagame yesterday to discuss the focus of Rwanda’s future economic growth. It came as no surprise that tourism was high on the group’s agenda, as the country has seen the sector emerge as the number one foreign exchange earner, attracting more and more visitors year after year and bringing in significant investments in the hospitality sector in particular. Only 2 weeks ago, Rwanda once again stole the limelight at the annual ITB tourism trade show in Berlin with their cultural performances and warm hospitality accorded to every visitor to their stand.
John Gara, the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, reportedly gave a presentation on private investments in Rwanda, with Ms. Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB, giving the overview on the sector’s performance in the past and the projections for coming years. The advisory council is today touring parts of Rwanda to get acquainted with project implementation and areas set aside for new investments before convening for a final session on Wednesday, the day when Qatar Airways is officially welcomed to the “Land of a Thousand Hills.”
Part of Rwanda’s success in becoming one of Africa’s showcase countries for social and economic progress, with strict adherence to environmental protection and especially a groundbreaking re-forestation policy, which is being implemented to increase forest cover by 2020 to 30 percent of the country, is attributed to the political leadership drafting in expertise from all walks of life and all corners of the world. Often dubbed the “Switzerland of Africa” for its scenery but also functioning services and a largely un-corrupt public sector, Rwanda has in recent years become one of East Africa’s leaders in development and an African case study how a country can be successfully propelled into the 21st century.
Only yesterday news broke that RwandAir, the country’s national airline, had signed a purchase deal with Canadian manufacturer, Bombardier, for 2 brand new CRJ 900 NG aircraft, with a further two on option, which makes them East Africa’s number three full-service carrier after Kenya Airways and Precision Air. Tourism is in the long term seen as a crucial cornerstone in economic development, and the arrival of international hotel groups like Marriott in Kigali, the global brand is set to open a new hotel and convention center later this year and is part of the secret of success the country enjoys.