The ceremony held on 28th August 2022, was an occasion for over 300 participants to celebrate and share the harvest, set targets for the future and relive Rwanda’s cultural values of hard work, unity and patriotism.
Addressing the community at the event, Rwanda’s Ambassador to the UAE, Emmanuel Hategeka explained the origin and significance of Umuganura Day and its role in promoting values of humanity, friendship and unity in Rwandan society.
“As Rwandan community abroad, Umuganura has a very significant meaning. It is not only a moment to share our harvest but also an occasion to reflect on our cultural values embodied in Umuganura including hard work, unity and love for the country. We celebrate a Leadership that has crafted a development model that draws from our rich traditions and aspirations for a better life. We celebrate our achievers mindful that we reap what we sow. We call upon all to defend Rwanda’s image and exhibit values of integrity and unity of purpose,” Amb. Hategeka said.
Reflecting on national harvest and achievements, Amb. Hategeka noted that there is a lot to celebrate ‘as we set targets for the future”. Rwanda’s GDP grew by 10.9% in 2021, up from a contraction of 3.4% recorded the previous year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rwanda continues to perform well in international partnerships and trade. The UAE has been a leading Rwanda’s trade partner for the last two years.
“We thank Rwandans in the UAE for your contribution towards the development of Rwanda and your role in finding solutions to challenges faced by Rwandans in the jurisdiction and back home. In CanaCallenge campaign, Rwandans in the UAE supported solar based system lighting for up to 213 families. This is a commendable contribution,” said Amb. Hategeka.
“You need to keep working hard, create businesses, provide jobs, and bring new innovations and acquired skills that are solutions oriented to spur our country’s development,” he added.
In his remarks; the Chairperson of the Rwandan Community in UAE, Kassim Kaganda reiterated the community’s commitment to Rwandan culture and their resolve to contribute to Rwanda’s development programs.”
“A country without a culture is on its downfall. We understand the responsibility to uphold our values. We commit to celebrate Umuganura every year. I also call upon my fellow community members to participate in all government programs,investment and saving, among others,” Kaganda said.
The celebration of Umuganura in UAE featured tasting Rwandan food and beverages and cultural entertainment by UAE RCA Uruyange cultural troupe who staged an exciting performance. Best dressed attendees in traditional and Made In Rwanda attires were awarded different prizes including a business class ticket offered by RwandAir.
The celebration of Umuganura started at the reign of Gihanga Ngomijana around 11th century. In 1925, the colonizers banned Umuganura as part of the infamous divide and rule policy. It was restored by the Government of National Unity in 2011.
Normally, Umuganura is celebrated on the first Friday of August every year but activities celebrating the day are organized throughout the month of August.