The ceremony took place on the evening of Sunday, July 2nd, 2023, at Kigali Convention Centre, two days before Rwanda’s Liberation Day.
The Head of State emphasized that Rwanda’s Liberation Day falls in the same month as Independence Day on July 1st.
Kagame explained that the country deemed it unnecessary to celebrate these two important national days separately and decided to merge their celebrations on July 4th.
He noted that July 4th is akin to a New Year’s feast for many Rwandans, including himself, and that significant achievements have been made since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Kagame stated that this date marked the beginning of transformations for the Rwandan people, with many of them starting anew while also remembering those who did not survive the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The president mentioned that much could have changed when Rwanda gained independence on July 1st, 1962. However, as he explained, as time passed, it seemed like the country’s leadership fell back into the hands of colonizers due to a "failure to carry on the responsibilities."
Kagame highlighted that this situation allowed the colonizers to regain control of the country, rendering independence merely a symbolic notion. He also pointed out that similar situations applied to other countries that obtained independence in name only.
Meanwhile, Kagame stressed the importance of not becoming complacent about the reasons that led to Rwanda’s liberation, celebrated every year on July 4th.
He urged Rwandans to continually strive to uphold their liberation, emphasizing that it is a choice they have to make.
According to President Kagame, the decision to live a poor life will result in exactly that outcome.
He highlighted the importance of hard work, stating that not working hard leads to a poor life.
Kagame acknowledged that Rwanda’s liberation history was marked by bloodshed and urged the people to persevere so that this history would not be erased by the stroke of a pen.
Among others, the President recognized that the history of Rwanda was written by young people and called upon the youth of this generation to uphold that history.
He also addressed a recent report from the Ministry of Health, which revealed an increasing prevalence of alcohol consumption. Kagame advised against excessive drinking, instead encouraging individuals to pursue what makes them courageous and determined.
He emphasized that by doing so, they can safeguard the history of their country, which was written through great sacrifice.