Various diplomats accredited to Rwanda yesterday gathered at the Egyptian Embassy premises in Kigali to celebrate Africa Day.
The event also attracted heads of international institutions based in Kigali and senior government officials.
African Day was first celebrated on May 25, 1963 when the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was founded.
On that day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2002, the OAU became the African Union (AU).
Speaking on behalf of the diplomatic cops, Dr. M.M Matiko, Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Rwanda, said that the aspirations of the founders of the African Unity are still alive.
“Our continent under the stewardship of AU has made significant progress towards the realisation of the founding fathers’ objectives,” he added.
Matiko stated that peace, security and stability of the continent have over time been elusive, citing the recent unrests in Egypt, Tunisia, and Ivory Coast and the ongoing civil strife in Libya, Somalia and Sudan.
“We commend the role played by the AU to help in resolving conflicts in the continent and we recognise Rwanda’s participation in peace keeping missions in Darfur,” he said.
He also commended the role of the African Union Mission in Somalia, particularly the one played by Uganda and Burundi forces in peacekeeping activities in the war-torn country.
Khaled Abdelrahman, the Egyptian Ambassador to Rwanda, said the spirit of unity and optimism showed in Tahrir Square will guide Egypt in brotherly relations with all African countries and the world.
“Rwanda is increasingly becoming a destination for foreign investment and private sector development, and the Embassy of Egypt assures its readiness to help and assist as well enhance bilateral relations in trade and investment between two countries,” he explained.
Amb. Jacqueline Mukangira, the Director of Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, stressed that, Rwanda recognises the great importance of its ties and cooperation with other African countries.
“Our country is willing and ready to improve this cooperation in terms of security, political matters, mutual trust and cultural interactions,” she added.
Mukangira stated that Africa Day demonstrates that Africa is more than the sum of its parts and reiterates the dreams of the founding fathers and mothers who died struggling for a better Africa are still alive.
She hailed the Embassy of Egypt for hosting such an important event.
Africa Day was celebrated all over the continent under the theme “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development”.
The discussions on the theme will be discussed at the forthcoming 17th African Union Summit slated for 23 June to 1 July in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.