Rwanda Day opens in Boston
More than 2,000 Rwandans and friends of Rwanda were yesterday expected to attend this year’s Rwanda Day event, which got underway yesterday in Boston, US.
Under the theme; “Agaciro, The Journey Continues…” the two-day event, which will be graced by President Paul Kagame, provides an opportunity for Rwandans in the Diaspora, particularly in North America and Europe, to get more involved with the country’s development process.
The First Lady Jeannette Kagame is also attending the event, which will include presentations, exhibition, entertainment, as well as the launch of the Agaciro Development Fund in the Diaspora. President Kagame will address the meeting on Saturday afternoon.
Rwanda’s Ambassador to Belgium, Robert Masozera, tweeted yesterday, “Many Rwandans living in Belgium have registered to attend #Rwandaday2012.They are eager to meet President Kagame.”
The Boston Metro quoted Jean Nganji, a Rwandan living in Greater Boston, as saying that “No North American city has contributed more to Rwanda’s progress in the 18 years since the genocide more than Boston”.
Nganji cited Partners In Health (based in Boston), which is partnering with the government to promote quality health system, and Sister Ann Fox and Angela Menino, wife of Mayor Thomas Menino, for helping to set up a girl’s school in the country.
"We have come a long way, but we also have a long way to go," Nganji said.
A statement from the Office of the Government Spokesperson said, “A Rwandan child born in the midst of the Genocide in 1994 turns 18 this year and, as this generation comes of age, Rwanda has itself entered a new era of development and progress; one that enables its citizens to enjoy lives of opportunity, optimism and dignity.”
Rwanda’s Ambassador to the US, James Kimonyo, said, “As Rwandans gather in Boston, from near and far, we recognise the progress we have made together towards building a society we deserve; but, more importantly, we gather to renew our commitment and redouble our efforts to build a successful, dynamic, peaceful and prosperous country for all Rwandans, for generations to come.”
Partners in Health (founded by Dr Paul Farmer) have established three hospitals in Rwanda, including the new world class Butaro Hospital in rural Butaro District, which also houses a Cancer Center of Excellence – the first comprehensive cancer referral facility in the region.
Sister Ann Fox and women from Boston area established the Maranyundo Girls’ school in Nyamata, a district that was hit particularly hard by the Genocide, while three members of President Kagame’s Presidential Advisory Committee are from Boston area – Prof Michael Porter, Michael Fairbanks and Kaia Miller.
The One Laptop per Child, founded by Dr Nicholas Negroponte of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lab, is thriving in Rwanda, with more than 115,000 laptops having been distributed in 227 schools – the largest deployment in Africa.
According to Ambassador Kimonyo, “For these reasons, Boston is the logical city to host 2012 Rwanda Day, especially since our theme this year is ‘Agaciro: The Journey Continues’. Across each of the diverse areas where Bostonians have partnered with Rwanda to drive progress, the desire to expand human dignity and self determination (Agaciro) has been the unifying element.”
Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]newtimes.co.rw