Beijing, 15 September 2012
President Kagame was today welcomed by 100 Rwandan students and young professionals in Beijing, China. Currently there are more than 300 Rwandans in 19 cities in China. Victor Nshunguyimfura, the President of the Rwandan students association, gave an overview of the community’s accomplishments and future goals.
“Our community has committed $5000 dollars to Agaciro Fund, started an online sharing platform to transfer online courses and started Itorero. We want to thank you Mr. President for restoring our dignity. Today, we are proud to be called Rwandans.”
President Kagame began his address with a greeting from home.
“Abo murugo ngo mutahe. I hope that wherever you go people recognize Rwanda in you, a Rwanda defined by self-worth, unity and a common goal.”
View pictures of the story: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/sets/72157631540406339/
With students in various fields including Architecture, ICT, Finance and Economy, President Kagame reminded the students that their time in China should be driven by a purpose beyond their benefit and towards contributing to the development of Rwanda.
“What I ask of you is that you do not waste this opportunity because once it is lost, it is hard to get another one. It is your role to change Rwanda, to develop Rwanda with the knowledge you are gaining, No one else will do it for you. Only you can use what you learn elsewhere to advance your nation.”
Referring to the accomplishments mentioned by Victor Nshunguyimfura, President Kagame thanked the Rwandan community in China for their contribution to Agaciro Fund adding that the importance of contributing is not the amount.
“It is the decision to take an active role in one’s development and to stand together in dignity. When you see a beggar on the street, does he have dignity? It is the same for a country that lives off begging for money from elsewhere.”
President Kagame called on all those present to continue playing an active role in fast tracking the progress of Rwanda.
“When you go to school, you graduate. We should also come to a point where we graduate from aid. You are not only leaders of tomorrow but leaders of today. What you do with the opportunity you have been given defines Rwanda’s present, future and the dignity of our nation.”
Following his address, students and young professionals were given a chance to interact and ask the President questions. One young professional and graduate of computer science, Norbert Haguma shared his vision of constructive connection between China and Africa through an interactive platform matching needs in Africa with educational opportunities in China.
Francoise Mugwaneza stood up to tell the President about a song she wrote for him entitled ‘Shujaa’ -the hero. She thanked him for what he has done for Rwanda and personally handed him a CD with her song.