16 November 2012

Rwanda: Our Unity Is Our Strength - President Kagame

Unity is and should be what makes Rwandans stronger, President Paul Kagame has said.

The President, who was addressing participants at a consultative forum organized by Unity Club and the National Commission on Unity and Reconciliation, further said that unity has a place in Rwandan society because of its history. "Due to our history, unity is what re-dignifies us and therefore helps us to gather all the strength we need towards achieving our common goal: sustainable development," Kagame said on Friday.

Unity Club is a national organization composed of former and current senior officials and their spouses to foster unity and reconciliation in the Rwandan society. Themed 'Role of leadership in promoting our dignity, unity and development,' it was Unity Club's fifth consultative forum which brought together members of the Club and other senior leaders to assess progress made in nation unity and reconciliation programs.

President Kagame stressed that even though mindsets may differ, Rwandans still share a common goal. "Our vision for Rwanda's future is shared through our unity. We may differ in many things but we are all working towards reaching a same vision. We all want to be healthy, feel secured, and live in a sustainably developed country. This is what makes our individual interests should not interfere," Kagame said, adding that for Rwandans to reach their vision, there are so many challenges and obstacles, but unity is the way to go.

The Central Bank's vice governor and Unity Club's vice president, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, said that the club's members agreed to explain to Rwanda's young generation the history of genocide and what was the basis in order to avoid future queries. "Rwandans' citizenship has to be strengthened. We must promote our values and the leading one has to be unity," Nsanzabaganwa said.

During the forum, Inyenyeli Cooperative from Bugeshi sector in Rubavu was recognized for the key role in promoting unity and reconciliation, promoting benefits and self-empowerment for all coop members.

"All this was done in a cooperative composed of genocide survivors and convicted perpetrators who have ended their sentence," declared Mary Rwangombwa, in charge of awards in Unity Club.

According to Boniface Mudenge, the head of Inyenyeli Cooperative, the organization was founded in July 1994 after the liberation of the country. "The idea was based on the values we inherited from our ancestors; values such as sharing instead of pushing away fellow countrymen," he said.

President Kagame commended the cooperative. "We are glad to have Rwandans with such mindsets. This is a good example of what we can achieve united," he said.

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