President Paul Kagame has encouraged Rwandans at home and abroad to put Rwandan cultural values at the centre of their lives and live as winners in an increasingly changing world.
The Head of State made the call on Saturday while addressing thousands of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda gathered in San Francisco, US, for a Rwanda Day event. The event was also attended by the First Lady, Mrs Jeannette Kagame.
Organised by the Rwandan community in California and the Government of Rwanda, the event ran under the name of ‘Rwanda Cultural Day’ and served as an opportunity to celebrate the country’s unique culture and its role in its post-Genocide transformation.
Through various activities organised during the day, participants learned about the values that unite Rwandans and the home-grown solutions inspired by Rwanda’s culture that have become an integral part of solving the country’s post-Genocide challenges, ranging from justice and reconciliation, to poverty reduction and accountable governance.
Kagame told the audience that rebuilding Rwanda has been challenging but possible mainly given Rwandans’ culture of being there for one another and their innate desire to fight for their dignity.
“Culture is neutral. It is the common thread that runs through a society and brings people together. The moment we put our people first, culture becomes the glue that holds our people; we do not give up; we are never thrown off balance. We are held by this rich culture,” he said.
Amongst the friends of Rwanda in attendance was Pastor Rick Warren, whose PEACE mission has been active in Rwanda for several years, praised the country for its spirit of resilience.
The event featured a cultural exhibition, business exhibition with a large number of ‘Made in Rwanda’ products, networking, presentations and speeches.
The images tell the story – please view the image gallery below:
The President’s address at the Rwanda Cultural day: