President Paul Kagame has today officially launched a health center and an Ekocenter that are all powered by solar energy.
Coca Cola a global beverages company funded the facilities built to benefit Ruhunda communities in Gishari, Rwamagana district.
The Ekocenter comprises of a kiosk with Coca Cola products including; clean drinking water, 3G internet all operated by a solar power plant.
The solar power also operates Ruhunda health center enabling clinical services like prenatal testing. Coca Cola supported this department with echography and other equipment.
“This shows that we already have much of the knowledge and systems needed, to bring improved health, well-being, and financial inclusion, wherever it is needed,” commended president Kagame.
According to Kagame, such a gesture by Coca Cola is among private sector’s contribution to global development goals.
“These global goals cannot be achieved with public funds alone. After all, merely eliminating poverty is too small an ambition. Instead, the urgent focus is to lay the foundation, for sustainable and equitable prosperity, in every corner of the globe,”Kagame said.
Coca Cola has 100 Ekocenters across the world, including; 41 and 35 in Kenya and Rwanda respectively .
Muhtar Kent CEO Coca Cola Company said in 2013 he met President Kagame in the United States and discussed about how Coca Cola could venture in Rwanda.
“We talked about this vision and I promised to visit Rwanda to make it happen. I am really proud that I managed to make it two years later,” said Kent adding that Rwanda deserves such a venture.
“I never saw the power of partnership like what I saw hear in Rwanda.”
Rwanda’s ambition to narrow inequality, good governance which leads to prosperity is among the factors that motivated Coca Cola to build Ekocenters across Rwanda.
Kent was accompanied to Rwanda by Reverend Jessie Jackson Sr. a renowned American civil rights activist and politician who was most known in 1984 and 1988 when he was candidate for presidential nomination for the Democratic Party.
Jackson also shares with Coca Cola’s boss a point of view that Rwanda owes its progress to a strong leadership; “When president Kagame arrived here we all applauded, when he enters a UN hall, they always applaud. In US, everyone applauds him when he enters a conference hall. Strong leadership speaks by itself.”
Odette Uwamariya, governor of eastern province said 23,000 residents of Gishari sector will benefit from Ruhunda Ekocenters.
Pointing to the example of Coca Cola, Kagame welcomed investors willing to support Rwanda’s progress through whatever channel.
“Companies can meaningfully support our efforts through jobs and training, but also with community projects, such as Ekocenter,” she said.