Despite misjudgements about the safety of asylum seekers in Rwanda, the country remains resolutely committed to offering fair opportunities to its citizens and refugees in its business market (by

Rwanda ensures equal rights to business opportunities for all its inhabitants. Once again this year, the Joint Action Development Forum (JADF) organized an exhibition from June 3 to 7, highlighting the initiatives and successes of various partner organizations dedicated to the development and empowerment of local communities.

Among these partners, the Forum Pour la Mémoire Vigilante (FMV), a private national NGO founded by Burundian refugees and recognized by the Office Rwandais de la Gouvernance (RGB), had the opportunity to present its projects.

In an interview with IGIHE, FMV’s legal representative, Ferdinand Ndayiragije, highlighted the Rwandan government’s policy of guaranteeing refugees the same rights as citizens in all areas, including the business market.

He explained: “Rwanda’s laws facilitate the creation of national NGOs by foreigners. We were able to expose our activities thanks to this excellent governance.”

Ferdinand Ndayiragije, one of Rwanda’s many refugees, spoke of the business-friendly atmosphere that enables everyone, including refugees and asylum seekers, to contribute to a better world.

He shared the story of how FMV was founded in November 2017 and registered with the RGB, a process complicated by tensions between Rwanda and Burundi, but which culminated in a certificate in July 2023.

“It wasn’t easy in the face of Gitega’s accusations. It was a long process, but after thorough investigations, we obtained our certificate of registration,” he said.

FMV aims to eradicate poverty in all its forms, meet the needs of the population and ensure prosperity for all.

Based on the values of memory, education and prevention, the organization offers support in the fields of education, health, languages, culture, and particularly in the energy and environment sectors.

Révérien Gahimbare, a Burundian refugee and FMV executive director, explained that the organization assists young refugee students in various urban towns in Rwanda and trains them to combat climate change in line with national targets to reduce emissions by 38% by 2050.

“We have already trained young Burundian refugees to combat climate change. As you have seen, some of them have even started making traditional stoves, called ‘imbabura’, which harness solar radiation for cooking,” he said.

The open day was officially inaugurated on Tuesday June 3 by Eric Bizimana, Muhanga’s Vice-Mayor in charge of socio-economic affairs.

He expressed his appreciation for the efforts of NGOs like FMV, underlining their contribution to the well-being of the population.

Iphigénie Nyiratunga, head of JADF in the Muhanga district, offers a vision of Rwanda’s inclusive approach to refugee organizations.

“We don’t consider the fact that an organization is run by refugees, because the regulations governing NGOs don’t discriminate. We evaluate their documents and action plans for the development of citizens,” she stressed.

She goes on to detail the selection process for events such as open days: “When selecting participants for the open day, we put out an advertisement and anyone interested can apply. Our aim is to demonstrate our activities to the public. If we feel a participant is ready, we allow them to take part, whether they are Rwandan or refugee.”

In recognition of its positive impact, the district awarded a certificate of participation to the JADF Muhanga 2024 exhibition, marking the importance of its role in the community.

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