Rwandans have spent the last 21 years focusing on their survival but the next few years will be about fully living their lives and this should be inspired by their own choices, President Paul Kagame has said.
The Head of State delivered this message Monday morning while opening the thirteenth edition of the National Dialogue Council (Umushyikirano), which is running from December 21-22 in Kigali.
Held under the theme; “Rwandans’ choices: Foundation for National Development and Dignity”, the dialogue provides a platform for Rwandans to articulate their choices for the future they want while moving towards the achievement of globally endorsed development goals.
Alluding to last week’s Constitutional referendum in which Rwandans overwhelmingly adopted a revised Constitution, the Head of State said that Rwandans have shown their choice and that it’s up to public servants to keep doing what people want.
“What was the issue has been pretty much resolved. Our purpose here in this dialogue is simple: make sure our actions are guided by what Rwandans have expressed,” he said.
The President said that Rwandans have—through their choices—decided that they will be accountable for their own actions and will continue to think big.
“We will always be accountable to ourselves first and we are not going to stop thinking big,” he said, adding that “We are not afraid of our critics. We stand up for these propositions without hesitation. The results are undeniable and the historical context is unforgettable at least to us Rwandans”.
At the dialogue, officials are already talking about Vision 2050 as one that will be guided by choices that Rwandans have made over the last 21 years since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
He urged other public servants to work harder to enrich Rwandans who deserve not only to survive but thrive.
“Rwandans have told us that we can do more and better, even faster. We don’t want to be a status-quo country or a status-quo people. Vision 2020 was about what we had to do in order to survive and regain our dignity but vision 2050 has to be about the future we choose because we can and deserve it,” Kagame said.
More than 1000 people are gathered at the dialogue, including members of the civil society, government officials, police and army officers, members of the private sector, members of the diplomatic corps, and Rwandans living in the diaspora.
Some members of the youth and other Rwandans also gathered at different locations in the country and are participating in the dialogue via video-link from Petit Stade in Kigali, Bugesera in the Eastern Province, Burera in the Northern Province, and Gisagara in the Southern Province.