Today marks 23 years since Rwanda was liberated from decades of repression that culminated into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
On July 4, 1994, Rwandans were liberated from a tyrannical regime, which planned Genocide against innocent citizens.
By the time Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) stopped the Genocide, over one million people had been killed in one of the worst catastrophes ever recorded in the world.
The aftermath of the Genocide was the most trying moment for the country. Critics and book writers were quick to write off Rwanda and predicted that it would take a miracle for the country to recover.
But the liberators had a vision and spirit that would see them rise up to the occasion. The new government embarked on a transformation journey that has placed Rwanda among the most cited success stories of our times.
One of the most unique contributions of the RPA was foregoing their salaries for over two years as the post-Genocide government struggled to reconstruct every aspect of the country. With limited resources and national coffers that had been ransacked by fleeing genocide government, such measures ensured that the transformation journey started.
Indeed, after 23 years, Rwanda can proudly look back and count the fruits of liberation with hope and optimism that the future can only get better.
Almost all sectors like health and education have been transformed significantly and the poverty levels have drastically gone down over the years. Rwanda has become a role model in many aspects as seen from the international rankings that have for example rated Rwanda among the fastest growing economies, and the most secure place to live and do business.
These achievements, have taken hard work and the foresighted leadership under President Paul Kagame.
But as we come together to celebrate this day, it should also be a moment of reflection on how Rwandans can consolidate the current gains and also recommit to do more as the country races to achieve a middle income status. The last two decades have proved that with unity, good leadership and resilience, Rwanda is capable of achieving its desired vision. Let us keep the momentum because our goal as a country is within reach.
Happy Liberation Day.