The figures have been released ahead of the upcoming edition of Rwanda Day scheduled on Saturday 5th October 2019 where Rwandans and friends will meet President Paul Kagame in Bonn city, Germany.
According to BNR, Funds transferred by Rwandans from abroad ranged from US$3.6 to 8.8 million before the introduction of Rwanda Day between 2000-2005.
The funds increased from US$ 25 to 98.2 million between 2006 and 2010.
The introduction of Rwanda Day saw the funds tremendously increasing by 158% from US$ 98.2 million in 2010 to US$ 250 million in 2018 translating into over Rwf 250 billion.
Thomas Kigabo, Chief Economist at BNR said the contribution of Rwanda Day to the increase of funds transferred from the diaspora is self-evidencing.
“Rwanda Day editions made Rwandans from abroad to trust national economy. When someone working abroad spends earnings to invest in his home country signifies long-lasting trust bestowed to his country. He/she invest in their own country with a belief that deeds will induce pride in their advanced age,” he said.
Louis Antoine Muhire was 12 years old when he left Rwanda in 1994. He returned after 20 years following Rwanda Day held in Toronto, Canada in 2014.
“My family was among perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. I always felt guilty and wondered whether I won’t be charged for what my family did. I went to Rwanda Day in Canada to interact with officials from Rwanda and ask them whatever kind of questions because I believed my security was guaranteed in a foreign country,” he said.
“All the fears I had disappeared after engaging with them and later visited Rwanda as a tourist. I was attracted with the beauty of my native land. I returned to Canada and bid farewell to my former employment at Mont Real police. I came back home for good in the next month and have now spent five years enjoying the beauty of the motherland,” added Muhire.
Michaella Rugwizangoga, the chief executive officer of Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda who spent seven years studying in Germany requests fellow Rwandans to be fond of their country.
“Young Rwandans studying abroad should closely follow up the development of their native country and develop strong partnerships with the rest to build the nation. You better come to Rwanda often, take part in Rwanda Day programs to learn about the country’s progress and future and be part of it. The country wants to create innovations from your abilities,” she enthused.
During Rwanda Day held in Belgium in 2017, President Kagame emphasized that the contribution of the diaspora should not be disregarded.
The President also emphasized that Africans who are living in Europe can greatly contribute in positively changing lives back home in Africa because they have gained skills that can be used on the continent.
“Living abroad does not mean forgetting your home. You can use what you gain to improve your nation from where you are,” Kagame told participants.
Rwanda Day 2019 is a gathering that brings together Rwandans living abroad and their friends.
It was previously set for Saturday 24th August 2019 but has been postponed to 5th October 2019 in Bonn city, Germany as announced by Rwanda’s embassy in Germany.
Rwanda Day has been held since 2010 and serves as a platform for bringing together all Rwandans from the diaspora and their friends to discuss how to further advance the development of the country and get up to speed on the current progress.
The latest Rwanda Day took place on 10th August 2017 in Flanders Expo, a multipurpose hall in Ghent town, Belgium.
Rwanda Day presents opportunities for attracting foreign investments and networking.
Participants are given the floor to address their questions directly to the Head of State, share ideas and express their wishes as well.
At the occasion, Rwandans get insights into Rwanda’s progress and share ideas on ways forward.
Since 2011, Rwanda Day has been taking place in Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta in the United States of America, Paris in France, Toronto in Canada, London in the United Kingdom, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, San Francisco in USA (Rwanda Cultural Day), and Ghent in Belgium.