Thousands of Rwandan Diaspora living in the USA, Canada and Europe converged in Boston, Massachusetts, Friday, for a weekend to celebrate their home country's remarkable progress registered over the last 18 years.
The RwandaDay2012 that was held under the theme; "Agaciro, The Journey Continues..." was officially opened Friday, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikibo, but the main event held, Saturday evening, was graced by President Paul Kagame and the First Lady Jeannette Kagame.
The opening ceremony was characterized by presentations from John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Prof. Shyaka Anastase, CEO Rwanda Governance Board and Senator Tito Rutaremara among others.
According to the organisers, the two-day event provided an opportunity for Rwandans in the Diaspora, particularly in North America and Europe, to get more involved with the country's development process.
"This event provides an opportunity for all Rwandans as well as our friends to learn more about the remarkable unfolding success story of Rwanda's progress by hearing and seeing how this rebirth has been made possible," said James Kimonyo, Rwanda's Ambassador to the United States.
Speaking at the event Mushikiwabo spoke about Rwanda's relationship with the world, while the Finance Minister shared Rwanda's socio-economic transformation and the ongoing development and poverty reduction strategies.
"This growth has come along with socio-economic transformation such that one million people have lifted themselves out of poverty in the last 5 years (EDPRS I)," Rwangombwa pointed out.
Rwanda has seen an average economic growth of 8% in the last decade.
The Government of Rwanda sets more ambitious targets to ensure that 45% of its citizens are out of poverty under EDPRS II.
Senator Rutaremara encouraged all Rwandans to contribute towards the country's development.
Several government agencies including Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and private companies had stands where they showcased their products and services.
The colorful function was further spiced up by prominent Rwandan artists including Alpha Rwirangira, Meddy, Kavuyo, De Ben, Mani Martin, Intore Masamba, Emmy Nsengiyumva and Didas Ntakirutinka.
Inganzo Dance Group and Mashirika Artists also staged performances.
The climax of Rwanda Day was held yesterday evening and by Press Time the venue was packed to capacity with members of the Diaspora, Friends of Rwanda and Rwandans excited to learn more about their country, hear from the President and contribute to the Agaciro Development Fund - an initiative that has raised over Rwf 20billion in close to five weeks, to complement other sources of revenue.
The fund will be used to accelerate the countries development programmes.
This is the second edition of Rwanda Day. The first was held last year in Chicago, Illinois.