The New Times (Kigali)

Uganda: Rwandans in Uganda, Tanzania and China Mark 50th Anniversary

The Rwandan community living in Uganda on Friday came together to celebrate the 50th independence and liberation anniversaries.

Live performances from local Ugandan artists and cultural troupe dances by Belgian based Rwandan musician Julienne Kayiganwa, also known as Big Mama, marked the occasion.

In his address, the Rwandan High Commissioner to Uganda, Frank Mugambage, underscored the value of culture, saying that the liberation struggle was possible because of the strong culture that binds the Rwandan people and those they share it with in the region.

"Rwandan culture has been preserved and Rwandans are very proud of it. One aspect of that culture that is relevant to today is the value of resilience," he told hundreds of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda gathered at Kampala's La Bonita theatre.

He added that the ability to face up to the challenges and seek solutions for them entails sacrifice and commitment all geared towards working for the common good.

"That is how Rwanda has managed to recover from the horrors experienced in the dark period that necessitated the liberation struggle. Rwanda has come a long way in building a very firm foundation for sustainable peace and stability, and social economic development," Mugambage said.

The Rwandan High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ben Ruganganzi, called on all Rwandans to double efforts to surmount present and future challenges.

"We have already overcome more difficult challenges, and in so doing, gained the strength and confidence to face those that lie ahead," he said.

The event was attended by over 300 guests who included diplomats, civil society, the Rwandan Diaspora and students.

In China, the Rwandan Embassy also organised a ceremony which attracted over 180 people.

Ambassador Francois Xavier Ngarambe called upon Rwandans and Africans in general, to work hard and attain economic transformation with the help of true friends like China that" has always supported Africa during difficult times".

Ambassador Ngarambe stressed that true independence requires the people of Africa to stop covering up their responsibility under the pretext of external influences.

He said the independence means developing the capability to find appropriate solutions for problems, no matter whether they were caused or exacerbated by external factors.

Ambassador Ngarambe said Rwanda's commitment to contribute to the unity of Africa, the reinforcement of peace building across the continent and economic integration were real.

During the ceremony, the Chinese Government was represented Mr. Zhai Jun, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and accompanied by the Director of West Asia and Africa Department.

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