21 December 2015

President Kagame today opened the National Dialogue meeting, Umushyikirano, taking place for the 13th time, bringing together senior Government officials, local Government, diplomats and members of the private sector, civil society, Rwandans living abroad, among others.

In his speech, President Kagame underscored the importance of Rwandans making their choices and taking charge of their destiny:

Our democracy is stronger because we have continued to define ourselves, and refused to be distracted. Frankly, what was at issue has been resolved. Our purpose here in this Umushyikirano is simple: Make sure our actions are guided by what Rwandans have expressed. These are serious matters, and Rwandans demand that we treat them as such.The Rwanda we have today is already more than we dared expect twenty-one short years ago. We know its value, and we the People, as it says in our Constitution, are prepared to safeguard the unique choices and actions that brought this country back to life.”


President Kagame pointed out that Rwandas will always want to stay together, and will always be accountable to themselves first, and that they will never stop thinking big.

We stand up for these propositions without hesitation, and undaunted by reproach. The results are undeniable and the historical context is unforgettable, at least to us Rwandans. Second, it is a privilege and a duty to serve Rwanda, not an entitlement. No individual is there forever, but there is no term limit on values, institutions, and progress.”

President Kagame said that Rwandans with growing optimism, Rwandans are aware that a better Rwanda lies ahead.

“Rwandans are telling us that, as much as we have achieved, this is not as good as it gets. There is an even better Rwanda ahead, and the chance to definitively transform our country must not be squandered through inaction, indecisiveness, or mismanagement.”

Umushyikirano enters the second and final day tomorrow, with more presentations and interactions by Rwandans countrywide through various platforms of communication.

Today, President Kagame also met and interacted with graduate students from Harvard University, who chose to spend time during their vacation in Rwanda to learn practical lessons on how Rwanda has been able to re-build from scratch to a competitive economy after only two decades.

Andy Agaba, who originates from Uganda and headed the delegation of more than 20 students to Rwanda, said their meeting with President Kagame enriched their knowledge and understanding of Rwanda and Africa at large.

“As an African and East African myself, I was quite interested in learning how Rwanda has managed to achieve what has failed elsewhere. This meeting today with President Kagame provided a good insight into why Rwanda has been able to reach where it is today.”