President Paul Kagame has said that the reason being of Rwanda Day is to make sure that every Rwandan outside of the country is connected with his or her home, wherever they are.
Your can leave Rwanda and go wherever you want to go, but Rwanda should not leave you. It stays with you. Maybe if you stay with it in some form, it’s good for all of us and it is doable,” the president said explaining the reason why there has been eleven sessions of Rwanda Day now.
The president was speaking at Rwanda Day 2024 in Washington DC February 3, where he dismissed a saying according to which people cannot go fast if they go together.
He said that Rwandans have no choice, but to go together and run fast to reach the destination.
“I hard people saying that if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to reach far, go with others. I want us to go together, but I want us to go fast and reach far. There is no contradiction about that,” the president said.
“You can go far and fast. That is what our situation compels us to do.”
Rwanda Day which is in 11th edition coincides with celebration of 30 years of liberation of the country.
From this perspective, Kagame said: “Our journey was difficult but important. We have survived, and want to do much better. We want to be where some people in the world thought we cannot be,” he said.
“A saying goes that the lightening does not strike at the same place twice . I want to assure that Rwanda that was stricken in 1994 will not be stricken again.”
The president said that the same way a conductor prevents the lightning from striking, Rwanda put in place protection mechanisms to make sure that the 1994 Genocide tragedy never happens again.
He said the country will always prevail.
“It is possible, it is going to be possible by working hard, learning lessons from our past history and moving ahead into our future which must be better than our past.”
The president said that the country will not be held by bad memories. He believes that as human beings always remember the dark past they can also do good things, case of Rwanda which is changing the narrative after thirty years of the Genocide tragedy.
He suggests that Rwanda should not find excuses of failure by blaming colonialism.
“Those are excuses, and we have put them behind us. Though our continent still has problems, it is possible to overcome them,” he said.
The president who always shares Rwanda’s resolve to give every citizen the right to live anywhere in the world provided that they contribute to the country development in any way, said that Rwanda day is all about connecting all Rwandans to their homeland.
“You can leave Rwanda, but Rwanda cannot leave you. It stays with you. That’s why whenever I have an opportunity, we meet at Rwanda Day,” he said.
President Kagame encouraged adult Rwandans to understand that their responsibility to inspire the youth and leave them a great nation.
“The young people of our country want to rely on you, to believe in you, to get a sense that you were brought up in a manner that is meaningful and that will put Rwanda where it deserves to be. And I don’t see why you cannot make those choices,” he said.
For the President, Rwandans can “relax while doing the right thing, the right way, at the right speed.”
When the president entered the venue, the audience, nearly 6000 people sung “ni wowe, ni wowe”, meaning: “you are the one, it’s only you.”
The audience was eager to speak, to tell the president how he was indispensable in country’s liberation and how he led the economic transformation of the country.
They made it clear that they want President Kagame for the next five year term in office. Rwandans will elect the next president on July 15.
The “meet the president” session was difficult for the moderator because every person in the room wanted a microphone to thank the president for changing the country to the better.
Some of those who were given a chance, wanted to make short presentations with facts and figures, but the time could not allow that.
Earlier sessions by Rwandans and friends of Rwanda with different expertise also confirmed that if Rwanda has made economic transformation, it is courtesy of good leadership with President Kagame at the helm.
Rwanda Day was concluded by a dinner hosted by President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame.