1 January 2018

Rwanda: Kagame's New Year's Message

President Paul Kagame has called on the people of Rwanda to continue working together in the New Year to ensure the country remains firmly on a progressive trajectory.

The Head of State was last night delivering his televised End-of-Year speech marking the beginning of the year 2018.

Reflecting on 2017, Kagame said it had been a good year for Rwanda. "We have made significant progress in key areas and for this; I want to thank you all."

"Our economy, our security, the well-being of Rwandans and the peaceful elections that brought us all together; these are all achievements that marked the past year," the President said in his brief address. "I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of you for everything we have accomplished together."

He added: "Unity among Rwandans, regional cooperation and good relations with nations across the globe were all made possible by working together with commitment and determination. I thank each one of you."

"I want us to continue on this path of progress we have been on for some years," he told the nation in a statement delivered at the stroke of midnight.

He urged Rwandans to continue working together, learning, serving their nation and building the capacity to ensure that nothing can reverse the the gains achieved to date to ensure or destabilise our country.

There will always be those who want to undermine Rwanda, he warned. "We must ensure that they never succeed, wherever they come from or whatever means they have."

"The goals we have set for ourselves, of building and protecting this country," Kagame said, "is the responsibility of each one of us... , "especially you, the youth of Rwanda".

"Let this New Year be marked by even bigger strides in our journey of unity, development and security for generations to come," he added.

Kagame wished all Rwandans a happy and prosperous New Year and God's blessings in the days ahead.

Meanwhile, Rwandans welcomed the new year in style with fireworks at the Kigali Convention Centre, Mount Kigali and Mount Rebero.

Artistes from across Africa also performed across the city through concerts including at Kigali Convention Centre where Nigerian superstar Yemi Alade and Kenya's Sauti Sol were the headline acts, and another one just outside Kigali Heights featuring local stars including Bruce Melodie.

Thousands also gathered at their respective places of worship to ring in 2018 with overnight prayers.

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