KIGALI - Students have been urged to tell Rwanda’s success story to the world. The advice was given by Ambassadors James Kimonyo and Amandin Rugira over the weekend.
They were speaking at a public lecture organised by the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
Speaking at the lecture, Kimonyo who is Rwanda’s Ambassador to the US told the students that they have the mandate to counter those who peddle lies to tarnish the image of Rwanda.
“It is you who are on the ground that can tell the truth about the development the country is going through,” Kimonyo said.
He explained that there is a group of people who are determined to portray Rwanda negatively and that the world is bound to believe them if they are not countered.
“They are allover the internet telling lies about Rwanda. You should respond to them by writing what is on the ground for the world to know,” he said.
Kimonyo emphasised that the internet propaganda is spread by a group of few individuals which include Genocide suspects and fugitives hiding in the west. This group creates several blogs and websites to create the impression that they are many.
“They are not as many as they want the world to believe,” he said adding that almost 99 percent of Rwandan diaspora in the US support the government and are contributing to the country’s development.
He said that the group uses political cover up and has maintained divisionism along ethnic lines. “They tend to represent the diaspora which is not true.”
He challenged the students to resist negative propaganda through writing.
Rugira, Rwanda’s envoy to the DRC, said that many people read about the lies and do nothing about it.
“When you read these things and start criticizing verbally, it cannot help,” said Rugira urging the youths to respond in writing to set the record straight.
Commenting on the lecture, students cited lack of enough facilities like computers and access to internet as some of the challenges that hinder them from writing.
They also noted that the operators of the blogs delete responses which don’t favour them. On this Rugira encouraged the students to create their own blogs and websites where they can publish their stories.
Meanwhile, the ambassadors also briefed the students on the situation of the diaspora and how they are contributing to national development.
Kimonyo said that since 2006, annual remittances from the diaspora have increased. “In 2010 alone, remittances from the diaspora were estimated at $200 million. This shows that Rwandans abroad are playing a big role in the country’s development.
He, however, admitted that the government has not put in place concrete strategies to attract the numerous human resources abroad.
“We are trying to establish these methods, first by ensuring constant provision of information about what is taking place in Rwanda,” he said.
Rugira said that there has been progress registered in convincing refugees living in various countries, in the region, to return home.