Stockholm — Diplomats, senior officials, business people and the Rwandans resident in Sweden thronged the Scandic Sergel Plaza Hotel in downtown Stockholm on Monday to celebrate Rwanda’s Liberation Day.
This was the largest event of its kind in the Nordic countries since Rwanda opened its Embassy in the Swedish capital.
The ceremonies were combined with a mini-exhibition on ‘Rwanda today’ featuring large, two by one metre posters of Rwanda and other promotional materials prepared by the Embassy of Rwanda to the Nordic countries.
Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Nordic Countries, Jacqueline Mukangira, reminded the guests that the view that Rwanda has undergone a dramatic transformation since the Genocide was not self-praise.
“It is a story as told by different UN agencies, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Commonwealth of Nations and, yes, Rwandans themselves”.
As she quoted various international surveys and reports charting Rwanda’s emergence as an African model for good governance, efficiency and development, Mukangira noted that Rwandans only regard the progress as a beginning.
“As we always point out, we are still far from our ultimate goal. All of the aforementioned developments require further refinement and consolidation,” she said.
Reacting to a string of rumours in some foreign media circles, the Ambassador explained that any of the hundreds of guests present who had recently been to Rwanda and “witnessed how hardworking and fast our country is rebuilding might know that we have little time for such distractions.
“Rwandans have an unwavering determination to push for more development and to improve their lives at an even faster rate.”
Amb. Mukangira said the Embassy had chosen to combine Liberation Day ceremonies with a mini-exhibition since the presence of the hundreds of senior diplomats from across the world and high ranking Swedish government, civil and business leaders offered “a rare opportunity to market the modern image of Rwanda to decision makers”.
The Exhibition, held in the same conference hall where the liberation ceremonies took place, featured photos of Rwanda taken by Swedish Reporter and photographer, Andreas Rolfer, Rwanda Development Board and the Office of the President.
Also on hand to entertain the guests that included former UN Under-Secretary General Ambassador Hans Corell, Swedish Chief of Justice, Ster Heckscher, and the King’s First Marshal of the Court, Lars Hjalmar Wide, was the Sweden-based Rwandan cultural troupe, Imanzi.