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President Kagame leads nation in commemorating 20 years of liberation

Kigali, 4 July 2014

 

President Kagame today led Rwandans around the country in commemorating 20 years of National liberation, during the national celebrations that took place at the Amahoro National Stadium, Remera. The celebrations were also attended by Presidents from the region including Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Salva Kiir of South Sudan and the first Vice President of Burundi, Prosper Bazombanza.

In his address, President Kagame reminisced that on the 4th of July in 1994, the darkest chapter in Rwanda’s history was brought to a close, and lives begun anew. He said that although too much was lost to commemorate that day as a triumph and the liberation struggle is far from over, Rwandans have come far enough in the past twenty years to deserve a moment of sober satisfaction, as they recommit to the journey ahead.

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President Kagame chairs 6th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit

Kigali, 3 July 2014

Today President Kagame chaired the 6th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit at the Kigali Serena Hotel, attended by Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan. The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn was represented by the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In his opening remarks, President Kagame said there was no better example of liberation in action than the ambitious targets set by East African nations and the work the countries are doing together.

“We all know what success would mean for the citizens of this region – less bureaucracy, better infrastructure, more trade, and ultimately higher incomes for Eastern African families. We have an opportunity to make regional integration concrete in a way never seen before. We need to add a greater dose of urgency and stamina. Each success along the way will generate new challenges to solve.”

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President Kagame, Prime Minister Erna Solberg chair MDG Meeting in Kigali

Kigali, 3 July 2014

President Kagame and Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway today chaired the MDG Advocacy Group Meeting in Kigali for the first time in Africa to discuss progress towards the MDGs with an emphasis on maternal and child health under the theme: “Celebrating success and accelerating action on the Millennium Development Goals for children.”

The meeting aimed at updating on Rwanda’s progress on MDGs, with a focus on maternal and child health. Rwanda has made considerable progress on heath related MDGs, owing to effective and innovative public health policies.

During a joint press conference, President Kagame said if solutions to big problems are found somewhere, they apply anywhere else in the world:

“Rwanda is a small country but despite having gone through the biggest problems, people of Rwanda are not small.”

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The next frontier of liberation is mindset change

Kigali, 2 July 2014

 

President Kagame has said that the liberation to free people from bad leadership is over, and now focus is turned on changing people’s mindsets so that they can change their lives and country for better. While addressing the Pan African Youth Conference themed “Beyond Liberations Movements: Shaping Our Future’taking place in Kigali ahead of celebrations to mark 20 years of liberation, President Kagame asked young Africans to shun mediocrity and having low expectations because this would hinder them from achieving their dreams.

“It is time to shake off the low expectations that have been attached to Africans and that we, to some extent have accepted. Are you, African youth as bothered and impatient as you need to be to urgently change things? Do you stand up to injustice and patronising attitude as confidently as you should? There is only one way forward, be inferior to no one and do not accept mediocrity. It is obvious to me that you are as intelligent, creative and resourceful as your peers around the world.”

Speaking about how Rwandan youth liberated Rwanda and stopped the genocide 20 years ago, President Kagame said this happened because they did not simply sit back and wait:

“You have to ask yourself if you don’t fight, what’s the alternative? Faced with certain situations, you can choose to fight, flee or give up. We fought. We did not flee. We did not have the luxury to have the emotion of fear.

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20 years later, RPF is stronger, focused on seeking what is good for the whole country

Kigali, 1 July 2014

President Kagame has said that the departure of some of the RPF cadres over the last 20 years should not be perceived as a cause for weakness because many more other cadres joined the party. Speaking during a meeting with journalists ahead of celebrations to mark 20 years of liberation, President Kagame pointed out that those who left may not have been genuine cadres from the beginning:

“The state of RPF 20 years later is that of dynamism. It would not be a good thing if RPF has remained as it was 20 years ago. It is normal to see people come and go, these are realities of life. RPF works in various challenges but it has never been found wanting politically, economically, socially, internally and externally.”

Sharing his memories of the liberation struggle 20 years ago, President Kagame said what lingers in his mind is the state of despair and death, starvation and crises and the plight of the ordinary people who had to bear situation.

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