URUGWIRO VILLAGE - Every year has its unique opportunities and challenges, but 2010 will go down as a year during which Rwanda registered remarkable successes, in her pursuit for socio-economic development, democracy, human rights and many other fronts.
The observation was made by President Paul Kagame yesterday at Village Urugwiro during the end of year party he, and the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, hosted for central and local government officials, top army and police officers, diplomatic corps, members of the private sector, as well as representatives of the Rwanda Diaspora.
Addressing the guests, President Kagame said that looking back at the year 2010, a lot was done but on average positive developments surpassed the few challenges encountered along the way, noting that the year which ends today will remain a year of milestones for all Rwandans.
President Kagame observed that there were many hurdles the country experienced, however, this particular year presented Rwandans with the means and ability to confront them.
He added that the progress seen in the last 12 months came out of the will and determination of the Rwandan people, with both the leaders and the masses dedicating unprecedented efforts towards establishing a strong political base and good policies that form the foundation for nation building.
The Head of State noted that it has not been an easy task to attain what has been achieved in the past 12 months.
The President went on to thank everyone who contributed to the cause of nation building, adding that 2011 presents another opportunity to double the efforts and work hard to build and shape an even better future.
Reflecting on the country’s dark history, President Kagame said that, while nothing can be done to change the history, a lot can be done to shape the country’s future. Kagame added that lessons can be drawn from the country’s past to plot a better future.
He emphasized that the country’s future depends solely on the Rwandan people and what they do to address the challenges in their endeavour to develop the country.
President Kagame commended all Rwandans, including religious leaders and members of the Rwandan Diaspora, who continue to promote the positive agendas of the government in support of development.
He particularly thanked Friends of Rwanda, development partners, international organizations as well as individuals who have maintained a positive working relationship with Rwanda, adding that, in 2011, the friendship should be strengthened.
Kagame noted that the coming year will mark the beginning of a new journey to build on what has been achieved and to set new goals that will require renewed determination and commitment from everybody, particularly the private sector.
The President lauded investors, both local and foreign, for continuing to believe in Rwanda, noting that such investments don’t only benefit the investors but the country as well.
President Kagame noted that 2010 was characterized by many Rwandans in the diaspora appreciating the path of development their country has taken and agreeing to be part of it, adding that 2011 should see the numbers increase.
Amid applause from the guests, President Kagame said that a number of Rwandans in the Diaspora are still misinformed about their country, but added that, the doors are still open and that “it is never too late”.
The President stressed that despite varying beliefs and ideologies, all Rwandans need to be united around a common goal - nation building.
Kagame warned foreigners who seek to define the form of governance that the Rwandan people should adopt, pointing out that only Rwandans know what they want.
During the event, the guests reflected on the successes they registered in the year ending. The Mayor of Rubavu, Sheikh Hassan Bahame spoke on behalf of all the mayors, while Peace Mupendo, spoke on behalf of Rwandans in the Diaspora.
Donatille Kanimba, a representative of People With Disabilities (PWDs) noted that 2010 was a year full of highlights for PWDs, commending the government for caring about the needs and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.