As preparations for the state visit of President Paul Kagame to France gain momentum, thousands of Rwandans living in various European countries are set to flock Paris to welcome him for the first ever State visit by a Rwandan Head of State since 1990.
According to the coordinators, more that 5,000 Rwandans living, working or studying in Belgium, England, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy and France, have finalised plans to travel to Paris for the visit, next month.
“In Belgium, we are in the final phases of completing registration of those interested in going and the means we will use,” said Raymond Nzamurambaho, one of the coordinators in Belgium.
“So far, we are closing in on 2,000 people from the various provinces of Belgium.”
In Germany, a group of youth has mobilised over 1,500 Rwandans staying or studying in the country.
“There are many Rwandans living here in Rhénanie-Palatinat. We also have over 55 Rwandan students studying here. We are all ready to go and support the President,” said Emmanuel Hakizimana, the coordinator of Rhénanie-Palatinat.
“Our communities here are very connected, so it becomes easy for us. I also have other colleagues in other regions of Germany who are ready to go to Paris for the love of Rwanda, the people and President”.
In France, Rwandans, from the various regions of France have volunteered their services in preparation for the visit.
“We, Rwandans are proud of our country,” Andre Twahirwa, one of the coordinators in France, said.
“We want to welcome the President. The numbers will be overwhelming.”
Meanwhile, the Rwandan Ambassador to Belgium, Robert Masozera, who has been visiting Rwandan communities since taking up his new appointment, is playing his part.
Last Friday, Masozera met the Rwandan community in Ghent, reminding them that Rwanda considers the Diaspora an integral part of the nation with a vital role to play in nation building.
Masozera, who prior to his appointment was the head of the Diaspora directorate at MINAFFET, urged them to work with passion and perseverance bearing in mind that their country needs them.
He will continue his Belgian tour, going through Liege, Namur, Mons, Leuven and Antwerp, ahead of the President’s visit two-day visit scheduled for September 12-13.
President Kagame will meet his host President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris, before meeting the French business community. Later, the President will address the French Institute of International Relations.
The Head of State will then meet with Rwandans living in France and other European countries.