KIGALI - President Paul Kagame has called upon Rwandans to put more efforts in fighting poverty as a way of demonstrating heroism and following in the footsteps of the heroes the country honoured yesterday.
This year’s Heroes Day was celebrated at local level, a move that saw huge turnouts all over the country.
Businesses did not open in the morning and scores of people and few vehicles could be seen on the road as people gathered in large numbers to debate and share ideas on the concept of heroism.
Local leaders and Members of Parliament joined their neighbours to commemorate February 1st, the day the country remembers individuals whose actions, beliefs and ambitions were selfless.
In his message broadcast on national television and radio, President Kagame said that the heroes the country was honouring yesterday were characterised by exemplary acts geared towards building the nation.
“Today’s celebrations, therefore, should remind us of the spirit of patriotism, self-sacrifice, wisdom, and more particularly, the need to develop our people and country.”
“With this year’s theme in mind, it is only fitting that we follow in the footsteps of those heroes we remember today.”
“And it is in view of that, that we urge all Rwandans to demonstrate heroism in all their daily activities, with the country’s development as our first priority,” Kagame said.
This year’s Heroes’ Day was celebrated under the theme ‘Let’s be brave in our determination to develop Rwanda’.
President Kagame said that country’s development still has a long way that entails transformation in all aspects and requires efforts of all Rwandan to steer the country forward especially in the areas of good governance, justice, economic prosperity and the people’s social wellbeing.
He noted that looking at where Rwanda is today in all the above aspects, it would be appropriate to say that there have been heroic actions in the process of the country’s reconstruction.
“As a matter of fact, judging from where we have come, some thought Rwanda did not stand a chance. Against all odds, our people’s heroism helped to liberate the country, repair and reconstruct it. As a result, our country now enjoys the dignity it deserves.”
“It should be understood that heroism does not mean lack of fear; rather, it means daring to challenge that which causes fear, and that which is likely to endanger people’s livelihoods and welfare,” Kagame added.
He noted that what the country has to do now is to confront poverty and dishonourable ways of doing things in order to propel the country to the desired development levels.
“In this day and age, our economic wellbeing should not depend on land only. Sustainable development should depend on people, who possess the appropriate knowledge and skills that can be used to create employment,” Kagame noted.
The President promised that the government will continue to put in place necessary policies and programmes required to achieve development so that all Rwandans, in their communities, at all levels, work together to implement these plans.
The president of the Senate, Dr.Vincent Biruta, presided over a ceremony to lay a wreath on the Heroes grounds near Amahoro National Stadium in Remera.
Biruta represented President Kagame who is out of the country to attend the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.