Home NewsInternational Umuganura2022 Goes to the United Arab Emirates, Ghana

Umuganura2022 Goes to the United Arab Emirates, Ghana

by Matthew Rwahigi & Peter Muyombano
5:17 pm

Rwandans in Ghana on August 27 convened at the Chancellery of the High Commission of Rwanda in Accra to celebrate Umuganura2022.

Over 100 members of the Rwandan community living, working and studying in Ghana met to reflect on and celebrate the development gains made by the community and Rwanda in general.

They also committed themselves to take advantage of opportunities available in Ghana and back home to augment their contribution to Rwanda’s development.

“Over the past two years, the community was challenged by the impact of COVID19 Pandemic which caused some of our previous members to relocate to other countries or return home and affected the momentum of our activities. With triumph over the Pandemic becoming more real, we are ready to do more over the year ahead so that at the next Umuganura, we have more fruits of our work to celebrate,” Francios Xavier Bikorimana, the Chairperson of the Community said.

High Commissioner Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira(Middle) with other officials and the Rwandan community

In her message, High Commissioner Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira highlighted that notwithstanding the pandemic impact, Rwanda and Ghana have strengthened relations mainly built on deeper cooperation in business and trade, tourism and education, in which members of the Rwandan community in Ghana are appreciated for their commendable contribution.

She reiterated the significant role of Rwanda and Ghana’s leadership especially the Heads of State in fostering stronger cooperation: citing the recent exemplary partnership in a Pan-African (Rwanda, Ghana and Senegal) vaccine manufacturing project which is expected to bring vaccine equity to Africa.

To increase cooperation between the two countries and raise contributions of the Rwandan community to their country’s development, Dr. Kirabo noted that the principles of Umuganura among others remind everyone to work with excellence in their respective areas.

High Commissioner Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira addressing the Rwandan community

“As we celebrate the gains of the past years, it is an opportunity to also remind ourselves of the virtues that we draw from our culture especially the value of working hard with excellency and in unity,” she highlighted.

She also acknowledged the good example that H.E President Paul Kagame sets for Rwandans with relation to the good values that we must emulate, emphasizing the significant role played by this exemplary people-centered leadership in continuing to support and open new opportunities for all Rwandans.

Umuganura in the United Arab Emirates 

In a similar joyful mood, the Rwandan community and friends of Rwanda living in the United Arab Emirates met on 28 August in Dubai to celebrate Umuganura.

It was an occasion for over 300 participants to celebrate and share the harvest, set targets for the future and relive Rwanda’s cultural values of hard work, unity and patriotism.

Ambassador of Rwanda to the UAE Emmanuel Hategeka

Addressing the community at the event, the Ambassador of Rwanda to the UAE Emmanuel Hategeka explained the origins and significance of Umuganura Day and its role in promoting values of humanity, friendship and unity among members of the Rwandan society.

“As Rwandan community abroad, Umuganura has a very significant meaning. It’s a time to share not only our harvest but a time to reflect on our cultural values embodied in Umuganura including hard work, unity and love for the country. We celebrate a Leadership that has crafted a development model that draws from our rich traditions and aspirations for a better life. We celebrate our achievers mindful that we reap what we sow. We call upon all to defend Rwanda’s image and exhibit values of integrity and unity of purpose,” Ambassador Hategeka said.

 Reflecting on national harvest and achievements, Ambassador Hategeka noted that there is a lot to celebrate ‘as we set targets for the future”. Rwanda’s GDP grew by 10.9% in 2021, up from a contraction of 3.4% recorded the previous year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rwanda continues to perform well in international partnerships and trade. The UAE has been a leading Rwanda’s trade partner for the last two years.

“We thank Rwandans in the UAE for your contribution towards the development of Rwanda and your role in finding solutions to challenges faced by Rwandans in the jurisdiction and back home. In CanaCallenge campaign, Rwandans in the UAE supported solar based system lighting for up to 213 families. This is a commendable contribution,” Ambassador Hategeka said, adding:

“You need to keep working hard, create businesses, provide jobs, and bring new innovations and acquired skills that are solutions oriented to spur our country’s development.”

In his remarks, The Chairperson of the Rwandan Community in UAE Kassim Kaganda reiterated the community’s commitment to Rwandan culture and their resolve to contribute to Rwanda’s development programs.”

“A country without a culture is on its downfall. We understand the responsibility to uphold our values. We commit to celebrate Umuganura every year. On development, I urge my fellow community members to participate in all government programs, investment and saving, among others,” Kaganda said.

The celebration of Umuganura in UAE featured tasting Rwandan food and beverages and cultural entertainment by UAE RCA Uruyange cultural troupe who staged an exciting performance. Best dressed attendees in traditional and made in Rwanda attire were awarded different prizes including a business class ticket offered by RwandAir.

Umuganura started to be celebrated first during the reign of Gihanga Ngomijana Ijaana in around 11th century. In 1925, the colonialists banned umuganura as part of the infamous divide and rule policy. It was restored by the Government of National Unity in 2011.

Normally, Umuganura is celebrated on the first Friday of August every year but activities celebrating the day are organized throughout the month of August.

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