President Paul Kagame is expected to open the event of Rwanda Day as the guest of honor, at the 5th edition of Rwanda Day in Toronto this September 28, 2013.
The Canada event will be held under the theme “Agaciro: Investing in Our Future” and Kagame is expected to inspire more Rwandans living abroad to invest in their country and encourage them to ensure Rwanda’s future of self reliance and dependence.
Rwanda Day brings together Rwandans and friends of Rwanda living around the world to reaffirm their core national value of Agaciro celebrate the country’s progress and discuss ways of being part of Rwanda’s social-economic transformation.
It is an opportunity for Rwandans to meet, interact and exchange views on their country and how they can contribute to the vision of a modern, unified and prosperous nation.
Previous events held in the United States, France and most recently, in May this year, in the UK saw President Paul Kagame as guest of honor.
The government of Rwanda has also realized the importance of its Diaspora in the national development of the country. The Government reaffirmed its commitment by creating an organization in charge of the Rwandan Diaspora, and has now created the Diaspora General Directorate.
Rwanda Day Canada is an initiative of Rwandan Diaspora in Canada, in partnership with our High Commission to Canada. The Rwandan Diaspora of Canada, in collaboration with the Rwanda High Commission in Canada is organizing “Rwanda Week”. Rwandans will explore ways and means to actively participate in the social and economic life of their country of origin. This kind of exchange is extremely important as it allows Rwandans within the Diaspora to feel that they are a part of Rwanda’s renaissance, while allowing those in Rwanda to tap into the knowledge and skills of their counterparts overseas.
Parfait Gahamanyi, Director General of the Rwandan Community Abroad (RCA) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says that event planning is going on as planned and the aim is largely for the Diaspora community to get to know where their country stands, where it is headed, what role they can play, as well as interact with their leaders.
“Rwanda Week in Canada is one of our innovative activities and services that will be offered to the community at large, adapted to include everyone, from young children to the elderly. Our philosophy is to support the survival and growth of our organizations and promote the welfare of our members while giving back to our home country. It is an opportunity for members to become role models by volunteering in our communities, leading by example, and thereby creating a positive public image that will continue to inspire the entire community. Rwanda Week will show the entire world that Rwandans remain unbowed and full of pride and self-worth” the organizers said in a statement.
One Philippe Basabose, Ph.D., (University of Western Ontario) Professor of Francophone Literature at Memorial University, says that many Diaspora communities in Canada have successfully worked together to open up their ways to success in various areas. Despite the fact that Rwandan Diaspora in Canada has grown larger across the country, not so many significant and sustainable community-based development channels and services have been put in place.
While Tarcisse Ruhamyandekwe, a Chief, Financial Systems and Client officer in Canada states that “Rwanda Week in Canada is very important because we need to show to the world and to our fellow Canadians in particular that our country of birth is not about Genocide, wars, conflicts and diseases. The Genocide against Tutsi is part of our history and we cannot deny it. However, the post-genocide Rwanda is also an economic success story which has lifted more than one million people out of poverty”
The relationship between Canada and Rwanda has evolved from one focused on aid to one that covers a wide range of issues, including trade promotion, judicial matters and cooperation within multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth, according to officials.
Trade between Canada and Rwanda reportedly reached $52.8 million in 2012. The figures for 2012 rose considerably following the sale of two Canadian planes to Rwanda – making Rwanda Canada’s largest trading partner in the Central Africa, in that year.