Thursday, 23 May 2013

President paul Kagame commends diaspora, friends of Rwanda for contributing to country’s development

01President Paul Kagame has thanked Rwandans living abroad and friends of Rwanda for actively participating in Rwanda’s progress.
He said this while addressing over 3000 Rwandans and friends of Rwanda from all over Europe who gathered at The Troxy, East London, for Rwanda Day on May 19, 2013.
President Kagame explained that, Rwanda Day is not a day only, it is the spirit that brings us together, looking for the common good of the country and working together to achieve this.”
Rwanda Day London kicked off with a panel on investing in prosperity with panelists including Finance Minister Claver Gatete, acting CEO of Rwanda Development Board Clare Akamanzi, Andrew Mwenda of the Independent and Amin Gafaranga, Founder of Shokola Café and Managing Director of Design Village.
The panel presented Rwanda’s progress in the last five years citing over 8% average annual growth, 12% drop in poverty and the almost universal health coverage Rwandans receive.
The panel also detailed where Rwanda wants to be in 2017 with 11.5% annual growth and GDP per capita reaching $1000.
This could only be possible, the panel concluded, if growth continued to be inclusive and citizen centred.
The president called on Rwandans to work hard and continue to uphold the values of Agaciro.
He observed that today the world is running fast in terms of technology, development, innovation, creativity, the rest – finance and other means – they can always be found.
“They will always be available. If there is a correct attitude, if there is a correct ideology, if there is hard work and discipline, if there is understanding and owning up to problems; there is no way we can fail.”
He challenged the charity mentality saying that donor countries did not owe Rwandans anything and that it was sometimes strategic for them to keep recipient countries with their hands held out. Partnerships are important but the end goal must always be to become aid free President Kagame reminded the packed hall.
The majority of attendees were young people. Speaking to them, he encouraged them to go beyond looking for employment. “Young people, do your best, study hard, while you study, think about how to create your own jobs rather waiting for someone to create a position for you.”
The keynote address was followed by an interactive Q&A that lasted over an hour. President Kagame answered questions ranging from EAC integration, to how to ensure orphans who are now in homes are properly taken care of, to skills development, to opportunities for investment, to advice about Mali and Africa becoming self-reliant and many more.
After this, participants were entertained by artists François “Chouchou” Mihigo, Intore Massamba, King James and Knowless who had traveled all the way from Rwanda. Previous Rwanda Days have been held in Chicago, USA, Paris, France and Boston, USA.


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