Rwanda Day – September 28
By michelle-lee : Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame visited Toronto for Canada’s first Rwanda Day. His appearance at Downsview Park drew both cheers and jeers. To many, Kagame is a hero who ended the 1994 genocide and rebuilt the country by initiating many successful policies – to other he is an abuser of civil rights who’s Human Rights record has been criticized by Amnesty International. Egide Karuranga of the Rwanda Diaspora of Canada, who moved to Canada in 2000 and who is now a Laval University Business Professor, praises Kagame for his leadership and achievements. Emmanuel Hakizimana of the Rwanda National Congress is a University of Quebec Economics Professor, He criticizes Kagame for suppressing opposition voices and says, “We want true conciliation, freedom and economic progress”. Both men attended the one-day event, which was initiated by the President’s regime to unite Rwandans abroad to celebrate the country’s progress.
About 3000 people attended the event including a small group of protesters. Kagame spoke of the new developments in the country and said there are many opportunities for investment “back home”. He urged Rwandan nationals to “do your best not just for yourselves but for your country”. Several businesses set up b
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ooths at the site and the crowd enjoyed the performance by rapper Shad.