Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rwanda: The Kagame roadshow rolls into Toronto Canada

New Times ( Rwanda ) reports

Toronto hosts Rwanda Day

                                                  Rwanda Day Paris, 11 September 2011

Thousands of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda are today expected to descend on Toronto to attend Rwanda Day. According to the head of Rwandan community in Canada, Dr Egide Karuranga, hundreds are expected to cross over from US.  

I have no real understanding of the Rwanda Day concept. It is an event that seems to occur somewhat randomly. Rwandan Independence day is July 1 and that would accord with most nations practice of a designated national day. 

“We’ve been running effective social media campaigns, with ads, and clips,” Karuranga told Saturday Times on Thursday, adding that besides Rwandans, even Canadian citizens had picked interest. Most of the attendees arrived yesterday while others are expected to arrive today. 

President Paul Kagame, who has graced all the four previous events is expected to attend this year’s edition. 

It is good of President Kagame to attend this years event particularly after he had eggs thrown at him at him in Oxford  while he was in the UK to attend last years London event that for some inexplicable reason was also held this year. 

Rwanda Day London, 18 May 2013 - Agaciro: Delivering Prosperity

Now call me a cynic if you must but I am starting to wonder what is going on with Rwanda Day it would seem this annual event occurs a bit more frequently than one might expect. 

Rwanda Day Boston, 21-22 September 2012 - Agaciro: The Journey Continues

Rwanda Day Paris, 11 September 2011 - Agaciro: Generation dignite

Rwanda Day Chicago, 11 June 2011 - Agaciro: Our Heritage. Our Future

So two in 2011 one in 2011 and back to two in 2013 and astonishingly Rwandan President has managed to make time in his busy schedule to attend every event.  

The Organiser Dr Egide Karuranga, best known for his rather bizarre attack on Paul Rusesabagina the Rwandan Hotel manager who saved 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees in the Rwandan genocide, Karuranga hilariously seems to think it was the United Nations who saved them. He seems to be deluded and would have us believe that this event is a local initiative rather than something that he is doing on the instructions of Kigali.

Several local companies will showcase their products at the event.

Teta Isibo, the CEO of Inzuki Designs, a Rwandan brand specialising in jewellery, accessories and interior decor hand-made primarily from local materials, told Saturday Times that even though she did not travel to Toronto, she has arranged to “have somebody on the other end” to sell her unique products.

I have absolutely no issue with this, in many ways I have no issue with the Rwanda day concept. Why dress it up and make it something it isn't. This is an event to promote Rwandan business and investment opportunities organised by the Government of Rwanda and there is nothing wrong with that.

Investing in future 

“We are very excited to be taking part of the Rwanda Day event. We will be exhibiting and selling our products which are a fusion of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design,” Isibo said.

 “The Rwandan Diaspora is a large part of our target market and previous Rwanda Day events in which we participated have been quite successful for our business in terms of sales, networking and getting our brand name out there.”

Rwanda Day, an event held in different countries around the world, brings together Rwandans and friends of Rwanda around the world to celebrate the country’s progress and discuss how best to contribute towards Rwanda’s socio-economic transformation.

If only that was true. Rwanda day is nothing of the sort. It is a political exercise designed to improve the international standing of Paul Kagame and his regime.  

Today’s event will be held under the theme “Agaciro: Investing in Our Future.” During such gatherings, Rwandans interact and exchange views on how they can contribute to the vision of a modern, unified and prosperous Rwanda.

Canada hosts between 13, 000 and 14, 000 Rwandans. 

After the Toronto event, Rwandans in Canada will also participate in Rwanda Week, a week-long event that will take place in Ottawa, another Canadian city at a later date.

Previous Rwanda Day events were held in the American cities of Boston and Chicago, while in Europe the event has been held in Paris, France with the most recent having taken place in London, United Kingdom, in May.

Can't wait for the Auckland edition. Not

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