On Monday 5 October King Willem-Alexander received President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda at the Eikenhorst in Wassenaar, the Netherlands.
In a separate conversation the President talked to Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who is the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
Rwanda Day Amsterdam: Rwanda’s progress speaks for itself
On Saturday 03 October 2015, over 4,000 Rwandans from across Europe and their friends gathered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to interact and discuss their role in Rwanda’s on-going social economic transformation. The gathering served as a reconnection with Rwanda’s history and was an occasion for Rwandans living abroad to learn about the country’s actual status and be an integral part of shaping its future.
Speaking at the event, President Paul Kagame called on Rwandans in different corners of the world to put their hands together to change the course of the country’s history. This, the President said, is because Rwanda’s success depends on Rwandans living at home and abroad working together and partnering with friends to achieve set goals. “Rwanda must be a nation that stands tall. We are on the path of recreating our nation. Youth must carry this legacy forward.”
President Kagame further stated that unlike in the past, Rwanda is not “too small” to accommodate all of its citizens. He encouraged all those who wish to return home to do so since they will find a welcoming home and be able to contribute to the country’s progress.
Giving an example of the Netherlands, the Head of State stressed that the development of a nation is not based on its size but on the mindset, determination and work ethics of its people. He added that the developed nations, where Rwandans and other Africans migrate in pursuit of a better life, were at the same stage of development as most African nations 50 years ago. “Nations that made progress in the last 50 years leaving Africa behind made progress because they chose to define their own path. Africa is where it is because we chose to be defined and developed by others. What you see today is what they wanted us to become. If we want to be a new Rwanda, change the course of our history, we must define our own life.”
The President listed Rwanda’s internationally ranked achievements including maternal and child mortality, food security, gender equality, and access to education. He reiterated that though critics may argue about how far the country has come, Rwanda’s progress speak for itself: “Facts speak for themselves. The truth cannot be hidden.”
The Netherlands gathering marked the seventh edition of Rwanda Day. Past events were held in Atlanta, Toronto, London, Boston, Paris and Chicago where thousands expressed their commitment to the country’s socio-economic transformation.
On Saturday 3 October 2015 Rwandans from across Europe and different corners of the world will gather in the Netherlands to interact and discuss on Rwanda's progress and solutions to challenges ahead.
President Paul Kagame will be the Guest of Honour and is scheduled to give the keynote address and participate in an interactive session with participants.
Commenting on the event, Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Jean Pierre Karabaranga said: “The gathering serves as a time to reconnect with Rwanda’s history, learn about the Rwanda of today and be an integral part of defining Rwanda’s future. As Rwandans gather in the Netherlands, from near and far, we recognise the progress made; but most importantly, we gather to renew our commitment and redouble our efforts to building a prosperous country.”
Rwanda’s success depends on Rwandans living at home and abroad working together and partnering with friends of Rwanda to achieve set goals. Through Rwanda Day, the Rwandan community abroad gets to understand its role in shaping the country’s future.
Past events held in Dallas, Atlanta, Toronto, London, Boston, Paris, Chicago and Brussels have also attracted thousands of Rwandans who expressed their commitment to the country’s socio-economic transformation.
In the Netherlands, Rwandan banks and real estate businesses will provide the chance for Rwandans living abroad to learn about financial services, including sending back remittances, and investing in the property market. A selection of companies showcasing Rwandan products will also attend.
Young professionals and entrepreneurs from Rwanda and abroad will discuss the country’s development goals, business environment and opportunities available for those wanting to be part of a country on the move.
In collaboration with Rwanda Development Board, on Friday 2 October 2015, the Rwandan Embassy in The Hague partnered with the Netherlands Africa Business Council to host the Rwanda Business Matchmaking Event.
For more information visit www.rwandaday.org, you can also follow the conversation on @RwandaDay as well as the hashtag #RwandaDay