Thousands of Rwandans living in Belgium and around Europe and beyond are expected to converge in Brussels on Saturday to meet with President Kagame for Rwandan Diaspora community engagement, Rwanda Day.
The development was confirmed by the head of Rwanda Diaspora in Belgium, Pulchérie Nyinawase, who said that preparations are in high gear to ensure a successful weekend event.
President Kagame is expected in Brussels today for the European Development Days (EDD) forum during which he will deliver a keynote address at the opening ceremony addressing three cross-cutting themes: private sector growth, gender equality, and youth empowerment.
Hosted by the European Commission, EDD brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
Kagame will attend the meeting at the invitation of the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker. He is also expected to meet Belgian Premier Charles Michel.
“We asked for permission from (Brussels) city authorities and police to saddle the streets to greet the President and show him that Rwandans in Belgium are appreciative of what he has done for Rwanda,” Nyinawase said.
This will be the second event of its kind in Brussels as the maiden Rwanda Day event was also held in the city on December 4, 2010.
The Rwandan Ambassador to Belgium, Olivier Nduhungirehe, said Rwanda-Belgium bilateral relations remain productive.
He said about 35,000 Rwandans live in Belgium, making it the largest Rwandan community living in any European country.
Under their association, DRB-Rugali (Rwandan Diaspora in Belgium-Rugali), the community has been able to mobilise compatriots to participate in government programmes aimed at the development of their country.
The association also holds cultural activities with a special focus on keeping children born in Europe connected to their roots and culture.