Chicago, 11 June 2011

President Kagame on Saturday, June 11 addressed thousands of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda who gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago to celebrate Rwanda Day 2011 themed ‘Agaciro. Our Heritage. Our Future.’ The event which brought together Rwandans from North American Diaspora and Rwanda kicked off on Friday, June 10 with exhibitions by Rwandan institutions, presentations and entertainment.

In his address to the thousands of jubilant Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, President Kagame passes on greetings from Rwanda and thanked all those who had travelled from different places to be part of the event. President Kagame told the gathering that Rwandans understand quite well that what they are doing is for their own good and have no doubt that they will succeed: “Our democracy, our quest for transformation provides us with the desire, the energy to give ourselves that dignity. When we give our citizens access to health, education, food security, tools of communications…there is no basis for any accusations. No one can teach us about the importance of human rights…we know it more than anyone.”

Also in attendance were Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson who referred to President Kagame as a President who has a vision and compassion, and a leader who leads with humility, courage and generosity. Mr. Joe Ritchie, a veteran Chicago entrepreneur and a great friend of Rwanda said: “I have been incredibly lucky to be part of this team. What is happening in Rwanda is unique”

President Kagame told the audience that Rwanda’s battle for peace, development and dignity is an ongoing process and that Rwandans are involved and committed: “The New story of Rwanda is about working to take a country out of a misery that some so easily got used to and are happy to live with. We need to invest in our talent, realize our potential and be ambitious. We should not accept to be victims or take handouts and leftovers”.