Ghent, 10 June 2017

President Kagame today addressed over 2000 Rwandans who converged in Ghent, Belgium from across Europe during this year’s Rwanda Day event. In his message to the Rwandans and friends of Rwanda who participated in the event, President Kagame called on Rwandans to work hard towards self-reliance because the time for depending on others is coming to an end.

When other nations are putting their interests first, why don’t you ask why they ever had an interest in you to begin with? We learned long ago that we can only rely on ourselves when we had to rescue ourselves. Self-reliance does not mean no cooperation. You have to work with others, trade with each other, put your strengths together.”


President Kagame told the Rwandans that Rwanda of today was one that gives all Rwandans equal opportunities, with the understanding that challenges facing the country do not discriminate.

“Rwanda of today is one founded on our common identity as one people. Rwanda of today does not discriminate, values the contribution of every Rwandan and cooperates with nations in Africa and beyond. Today, Rwanda is a dignified nation not just recognized in the region, but also across the world. Our achievements are founded on our unity, all Rwandans are equal irrespective of where they are from or who they are. Our history has taught us the lesson that our past should not be our future. We are writing a new destiny for our nation, one based on unity, hard work, truth and self-reliance.”

President Kagame reminded the Rwandans gathered in Ghent that living abroad does not mean forgetting their home, because they can use what they gain to improve their nation from where they are thereby creating an extended nation. He pointed out that Rwandans living in Rwanda and those living abroad can complete each other, and become a Rwanda that goes beyond our borders.

Concerning cooperation between Africa and the rest of the world, especially Europe, President Kagame pointed out that Africa and Europe are not threats to each other, but can complement each other because, he said, a prosperous Africa means a prosperous Europe.

At the conclusion of the event, President Kagame interacted with the Rwandan and friends of Rwanda who asked questions and also presented appreciation and suggestions concerning Rwanda’s transformation.