Masai, Andrew, our friend Amadou and the many guests here including Masai’s family and other families around – First of all, I want to welcome you here and to let you know you are our family as well, a family of Rwanda, so you are most welcome anytime.
You know, Masai, and words he has just spoken – Above all, he’s a doer, he does things and testimony to that is what we are experiencing here. Between him and I there is only one regret that goes around, but that is at his expense.
He has failed to convert me to support wholly, the team he leads – Toronto Raptors. But it’s not because he didn’t try or – it’s just because the time he brought the conversation up, I was already absorbed in supporting another team somewhere. So, but I said ok if it is to have two, I’ll add Toronto Raptors. But first, it will always be my Golden State Warriors. So, sorry to bring that up, but that’s the way it is.
But otherwise, we are really grateful that we have been able to work together, and many things have happened, including now this one that is coming up – Zaria Court and the whole ecosystem built around it as you said and it doesn’t stop here, it spreads across Rwanda, the region and our continent.
Masai has told many stories about a meeting we had in Toronto when he invited me to go and watch the All-Star game and that resulted into building Arena. And you know, from that time, Masai, when the arena here was opened, many African leaders, many of whom have visited here and actually visited the Arena itself and they have left saying they are going to build even bigger arenas than our own and I encourage them to do that. I tell them, after all, you have more and more reasons to do that – please go ahead and do it.
So, it starts with the one thing, then it keeps spreading. Well of course they promised, I’m still following them and nudging them and saying what happened? You promised you are going to build a big arena in your country and so we want to see it coming up. But I’m just talking about the beginning of the story, a very good story, and how in a way it might have been slow in different places on different aspects, but I think it’s been growing and it will grow. I think there is a lot more to come than we have already seen.
So, we just promised as a country we will do our best. Our best may not be good enough, but we’ll keep trying. But we are having you as friends and as partners – I think it will grow and we will be at the point where we want to be in terms of growing, first identifying – there’s a lot to do in terms of identifying talent around and growing that and the potential is enormous, it is actually limitless, there is a lot that can be nurtured and grown here in our continent and that connects with many other things, other sectors, and you know it’s not a secret how in Africa, sports is a big thing – the poor, the rich, everyone is just connecting with that every day, every moment, and that helps the spirit to grow even in other areas of development.
Therefore it will grow the infrastructure, it will grow economies, it contributes to tourism, does many things. So this is not just as we see it. It’s much much bigger than what is seen by the eyes and I wanted to thank you – Masai, Andrew and everyone who has been supporting you as part of your teams. So again, I wanted to emphasize that here you should all feel at home. You are most welcome. Thank you very much.