KIGALI - As a way of challenging the inaccurate and negative image of Rwanda portrayed by some sections of the Western media, Rwandans living in the Diaspora, are being encouraged to visit the country and witness, firsthand, Rwanda’s true picture as well as the progress registered over the last sixteen years.
The call was made, yesterday, by Gustave Karara, the president of the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network (RDGN), during a press conference to unveil the upcoming “Come and See” Diaspora conference, in Kigali, December 17 -18.
Jointly organized by Imbuto Foundation and RDGN, the conference is expected to attract over 100 Rwandan youth, born in the Diaspora, and have never visited the country since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Karara said that many Rwandans in the Diaspora read newspapers and internet blogs that are negative and biased, which frustrates their motivation to return.
“From what they read, some of them fear returning to Rwanda and believe that the situation is as it was in 1994,” he said. “‘Come and See’ will give them a chance to witness firsthand the tremendous change that Rwanda has gone through, politically, socially and economically.”
Karara added; “From what they will witness and discuss during the conference, these people will know the truth and will become ambassadors for Rwanda in their respective countries of residence.”
He further commended those who invest in Rwanda despite living overseas, calling them ‘true patriots’ who contribute to the economic development of their motherland.
At the press conference, the Secretary General of RDGN, Dr Ismael Buchanan, announced a trade fair organized by the body which will run from December 20 -30, to raise funds for the Bye Bye Nyakatsi campaign.
Bye Bye Nyakatsi is a project initiated by members of the Diaspora, to boost the current government programme of ensuring that no Rwandan citizen lives in a grass-thatched house.
“All proceeds from the fair will go to the efforts of eradicating grass-thatched houses and constructing 500 modern houses for vulnerable people in Bugesera District where the project was kick started,” Buchanan said.