The High Commissioner of Rwanda to Australia, Mr Guillaume Kavaruganda, visited Tamborine Mountain on Sunday 7 May, 2017 as part of the Commonwealth Games Community Project organised by the local Chamber of Commerce. One of the highlights of his visit was assisting Eagle Heights Bakery owner Philip Rands-Trevor prepare bread for baking. Philip had previously chosen Rwanda to be its ambassador for the Chamber’s Commonwealth Community Project.
Seventy businesses from Tamborine Mountain and surrounding areas in the Scenic Rim are each linked to one of the Commonwealth countries. The celebration on Sunday afternoon attracted dozens of Rwandan guests from as far as Coffs Harbour, Logan City, Browns Plains and Brisbane. Mr Kavaruganda was welcomed by Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen and local Councillor Nigel Waistell.
Mr Kavaruganda gave a poignant outline of the history of Rwanda since the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 when one million people were killed. In a truly amazing period of reconciliation and recovery Rwanda is now regarded by the World Bank as the second best place to do business in Africa. In virtually every area – education, health, infrastructure, tourism, institutional policy and reform, Rwanda has made remarkable progress. One statistic Mr Kavaruganda is especially proud of is the fact that Rwanda has the highest percentage of women in parliament globally at 64 per cent.
Alison Rip, President of the Chamber of Commerce thanked the High Commissioner for his visit by donating a copy of Jaap Vogel’s “Green Island in the Sky”, a photo book celebrating Tamborine Mountain’s wildlife. The event ended with the serving of Australian muffins and coffee made with wonderful Rwandan coffee beans.