CHICAGO - President Paul Kagame, over the weekend, said that the Rwandan people are committed to the pursuit of prosperity and there is no doubt that they will succeed in transforming the country.
The President was addressing thousands of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda who gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago to celebrate Rwanda Day 2011, themed ‘Agaciro. Our Heritage. Our Future.’
“Our democracy, our quest for transformation provides us with the desire, the energy to give ourselves that dignity. When we give our citizens access to health, education, food security, tools of communications…there is no basis for any accusations. No one can teach us about the importance of human rights…we know it more than anyone,” Kagame said.
The event, which brought together Rwandans from the North American Diaspora as well as representatives from Rwanda and Europe, kicked off on Friday, June 10, with exhibitions by Rwandan companies and presentations on the progress the country has registered. Rwandan artistes entertainment the audience.
President Kagame told the audience that Rwanda’s struggle for peace, development and dignity is an ongoing process and that the Rwandan people are involved and committed.
“The new story of Rwanda is about working to take a country out of a misery that some, so easily, got used to and are happy to live with. We need to invest in our talent, realize our potential and be ambitious. We should not accept to be victims or take handouts and leftovers.”
Also in attendance was prominent American civil rights activist, the Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, who referred to President Kagame as “a President who has a vision and compassion, and a leader who leads with humility, courage and generosity.”
Joe Ritchie, Rwanda’s Honorary Consul to Chicago and former CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), shared his appreciation on the transformation going on in the country.
“What is happening in Rwanda is unique," Ritchie said. "I have been incredibly lucky to be part of this team.”
Among the over 3,000 Rwandans who attended the event, were former Prime Minister, Pierre Celestin Rwigema and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anastase Gasana.
President Kagame conveyed greetings from home to the thousands of jubilant Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, and thanked all those who had travelled from different places to be part of the event.