In his speech, the Head of State acknowledged the significant goals set for the year, noting that it marks the 30th anniversary since the tragic events of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, where over 1 million lives were lost. Despite attempts to distort the historical truth, President Kagame urged the nation to stay focused on its course.
He highlighted the challenge of historical distortion regarding the Genocide and emphasized the need to address such issues. Kagame urged different generations, including those born after the Genocide, to actively contribute to national progress and positively impact the lives of Rwandans.
Addressing Rwandans, particularly the youth, Kagame urged them to understand their responsibility in the nation’s development, emphasizing the importance of rebuilding themselves, their families, and the country.
The President stressed the necessity of not apologizing for one’s identity, stating, "We must not be apologetic. We must stand out, fight for what you want to be and what you want to have."
Kagame also pointed out that Rwandans cannot afford to be complacent, considering the unique challenges of their country. He highlighted Rwanda’s journey over the past 30 years, emphasizing that despite being a small country with a modest economy, Rwandans have shown resilience in overcoming challenges.
“We don’t have that luxury. Where others work for two hours and go to sleep, we have to work for ten more hours; where others can afford to walk, we have to run to catch up. That is how Rwanda is, and we need to act accordingly. We need to do the right thing to reach our shared vision for a bright future,” added Kagame.
Umushyikirano, Kinyarwanda’s equivalent of ’dialogue,’ serves as a forum for exchanging ideas, sharing experiences, peer review, and questioning during the National Dialogue Council. The president delivers a ’State of the Nation’ address during this council.
As part of efforts to reconstruct Rwanda and foster a shared national identity, the Government drew on Rwandan culture and traditional practices, resulting in Home Grown Solutions – culturally owned practices translated into sustainable development programs.
Umushyikirano, governed by the Rwandan Constitution (Article 168), is a forum where participants discuss issues related to the state of the nation, local government, and national unity, with the Office of the Prime Minister overseeing its coordination.