Liberation: How the diaspora is making its mark in nation building – The New Times

Posted By on July 4, 2022

In March this year, a group of Rwandans living in China, most of whom are students,contributedUSD 8,215 to connect 561 vulnerable families in Rwandato solar power through the #CanaChallenge, an initiative established by the Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) with an aim ofproviding solar energy to 10,000 familiesin remote areas.

In the same month, the Rwandan Community in Tanzania also reached out, raising USD 7,500 towards the cause, and this amount was estimated to be sufficient to light up 500 more households.

Through the recent years, the country has seen a number of such patriotic gestures by foreign-based Rwandans who support the countrys development either individually or collectively, through the respective associations that belong to the Rwanda Community Abroad (RCA), an umbrella that brings together Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in order to make the country known and provide a platform for dialogue among themselves so that they stay connected to their roots.

Foreign-based Rwandans efforts in regards to supporting their country range from mere use of social media to promote the countrys tourism industry, or fundraising campaigns for supporting the vulnerable to making contributions to the Agaciro Fund, and more.

In an interview with The New Times, Narcisse Mulinga, the Chairperson of RCA China, said they are committed to doing literally everything in their power to uphold their identity as Rwandans, regardless of being abroad.

Such is the reason they make effort to participate in the countrys socio-economic development activities in various ways.

In addition to this, he said they pick lessons from the RPA Inkotanyi who showed them what patriotism means in the past and today.

As younger ones, we have to maintain their patriotism spirit and continue building our country. We all know that, 70% of our countrys population is youth, we have to work hard to ensure continuation of our countrys development agenda and strive for unity and fight anything that can separate us, he said.

Rwandans based in the United States of America are also an example among those putting up efforts in nation building.

Their association the US-RCA has participated in several development initiatives in Rwanda, including raising funds to assist widows in Nyamata to get water tanks, making contribution to the Agaciro Fund, paying Mutuelle de Sant for vulnerable families, providing Covid-19 relief and so on.

According to Yehoyada Mbangukira, the President of the US-RCA, the organisation also participates in Rwanda Day events, in addition to holding youth events and more, as an opportunity for promoting the Rwandan brand to their friends and getting them to know how they can engage in investment opportunities in Rwanda.

Talking more about investments, there are more efforts taking place abroad, for example, in 2019, an organisation called North American Rwandan Convention was formed and it hosted Rwandan officials and American business entities in an attempt to showcase what Rwanda can offer and how it can bridge the knowledge gap to foster ongoing relationships with Rwanda in many sectors.

The same organisation is planning another event this year to bring together Rwandans and Americans to reconnect following the hiatus caused by Covid-19 shutdowns.

hkuteesa@newtimesrwanda.com

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Liberation: How the diaspora is making its mark in nation building - The New Times

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