The end of the year has always been an occasion when Rwandans look back with pride at the achievements as a nation. This year, I would like to reflect on the generations of Rwandans that sacrificed their wealth and blood to ensure we are on track to be a truly great nation.
Seventeen years is hardly a significant span of time. Yet, in just this short period, Rwanda has transformed from a young nation coping with the challenges of reconstruction after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, to a thriving and vibrant economy. We can now marvel at the many accomplishments and accolades and celebrate.
The country’s success is as a result of all Rwandans from different generations pulling together as one team. We have arrived at where we are today through the toil of many generations of Rwandans, rich and poor, professionals and labourers, educated and uneducated, from all walks of life.
But more importantly, it is necessary that everyone pays a special tribute to the Rwandans who gave up their lives and wealth to liberate our nation from the genocidal regime. They are none other than our brothers and sisters, our parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts. They embodied one thing: the true Rwanda spirit—selflessness, the determination to work hard, overcome the odds and carve out a better life for the successive children. They serve as a shining example for many future generations to follow.
As the saying goes, ‘history may only remember the kings and not the soldiers’, but let us never forget the contributions of the generation of Rwandans in our lives every day. For those that are living, I am glad they are enjoying the nation’s success because they gave the best years of their lives to the nation.
The nation must now continue giving its best in return. Even as we strive for progress and economic efficiency, it is our collective obligation to ensure that this group of Rwandans live their years in dignity, comfort and fulfilment.
We are a nation where each Rwandan is counted as a valuable citizen. A nation that is respected the world over, for not just its efficiency and clean government but, for the kindness and generosity of its people and leaders. To this end, and many more, we continue to strive. Of course, there are times when challenges may seem insurmountable; however, the recent past has proved that with the will and determination, even the hardest obstacles can be overcome.
As another year passes and another one rolls in, we should all express our heartfelt thanks to the leadership for steering the nation to where it is today. And, let the successes be the motivation to work even harder in 2012.