The New Times (Kigali)

15 December 2012

Rwanda: Agaciro Launched in Washington DC

Rwandans living in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia in the United states recently launched the Agaciro Development Fund (AgDF), where $90,000 was raised.

The Agaciro fund has so far grossed close to 30 billion.

The event started by members paying tribute to the deceased Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Aloisea Inyumba.

At the function, Camille Karangwa, a Rwandan national working at the IMF, gave a presentation on the implications of foreign aid on the country's economic development.

His presentation covered Rwanda's development over the last 20 years; the government's growing self-reliance; and the increasing significance of remittances to Rwanda, which last year reached $166 Million.

The economist illustrated that Rwanda has received acclamation for its aid efficiency, even by those donors, who have now cut aid, including the United Kingdom.

"The logical argument thus became, to leverage the financial strength of the Rwandan Diaspora and give our support to the Agaciro Development Fund," he said.

Rwanda's ambassador to the US James Kimonyo, elaborated, how Rwanda is a tree, whose roots are its people, and while the international donors seek to cut off our supply of water (aid), we must tend to our country, as we would our own garden, he explained.

Cathy Rwivanga, the Secretary General of the Rwanda American Association, told an emotional story of how she explained Agaciro to her son.

She told him that when she was a refugee in Uganda, there were times when she had to conceal her ethnicity, but now she is proud to have a country and proud to proclaim she is a Rwandan.

Upon hearing her story, her young son pledged his entire monthly allowance to Agaciro.

The event was characterised by a night full of entertainment and several Rwandan traditional dance troupes and a fashion show.

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