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Rwanda Day, Boston, Kagame,
“It should be our pride to live in a dignified country. We
must continually tell the story of our country, because if we don’t, someone
else will do it the wrong way.” That was the rallying call from President Paul
Kagame while addressing thousands of Rwanda gathered at Rwanda Day in Boston,
USA.
He added that Rwandans should testify themselves how their
lives have improved. President Kagame reminded the Rwandan community living in
the US that building Rwanda must be every Rwandan’s responsibility. “It’s my
responsibility and yours too, to build our country. We cannot delegate this to
anyone else.” He observed that Rwandans living in the US should learn from
Americans’ patriotism. “You have seen how people here work hard and love their
country, emulate them. Rwanda cannot be an exception.”

Moreover, President Kagame told the Rwandan Diaspora in the
US that Rwanda’s progress has given rise to detractors. “Progress invites
detractors, but it’s ok. We have the ability, desire and will to define
ourselves. Detractors will do their job, we will do ours.”
He stressed that Rwanda can only pay attention to criticism
if there is something to learn from it, not distraction. “We aim to be the best
we can, if you want to help, welcome, but we take the lead in dealing with our
problems.”  He requested all present to collaborate towards Rwanda’s
development. “All of us, boys, girls, old, and young should work together; use
our differences for the common good.”
For Kagame, that is also what the Agaciro Development Fund
is about. “It’s more than the money, it’s an attitude, a desire of
self-determination. It’s our way of saying: we will overcome.”
President Kagame also mentioned the Eastern DRC unrest and
the continuing accusations against Rwanda, pointing out that Rwanda is among
the first beneficiaries of peace and stability in the region. “How can we work
so hard to develop our country and at the same time destabilize our neighbors?
Are we stupid? It is not logical for Rwanda to have an unstable Congo. We are
best suited by contributing to its stability.” He reiterated that Rwanda is an
easy scapegoat for the failure of leadership in DRC and that of the
international community. “I would have wished the aid that was withheld from
Rwanda was transferred to Congo to help address their problems,” he remarked.
Rwanda’s ambassador to the US James Kimonyo said that Rwanda
Day 2012 is an opportunity to strengthen Rwandans’ resolve and their dignity as
the journey continues. “We want to continue shaping our future,” he said.
Eugene Ubalijoro, the representative of Rwanda’s US-based
community, called on Rwandans living abroad to make a difference and do
business in Rwanda. “The Diaspora invests in Bank of Kigali. in Bralirwa.
though it is kept secret.”
For Bobby Sager, a friend of Rwanda and Honorary Consul to
Boston, Rwanda is no longer defined by the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis. “The
Genocide made Rwanda famous, but it’s what happened since that makes it
important.”
The two-day Rwanda Day was taking place for the second time,
after Chicago last year, and it serves as a time for Rwandans living abroad,
especially in the US and Canada, to reconnect and discuss issues regarding
Rwanda’s future. During the event, government officials share information on the
ongoing political and socio-economic development, and a wide range of topics is
covered during a series of panel discussions.

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