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Rwanda Day returns, after 4 years on hold

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The first Rwanda Day since 2019 is scheduled to be held in Washington DC, US, in the first week of February 2024. 

Rwanda Day, the foremost rallying platform for Rwandans living abroad, has slowly gained economic and political significance among Rwandans, allowing the Rwandan government to reach out to its diaspora since 2010. 

After four years on hold, according to official sources, the next Rwanda Day will be held in the United States of America in the State of Washington DC in the first week of February 2024. It will be two days as usual on 02-03 February 2024.

Rwanda Day was last held in 2019 in the city of Bonn in Germany where it attracted Rwandans from different countries in Europe. The event debuted in 2010 and has already been held in 10 cities, attracting more than 35, 000 Rwandan diaspora, their friends, and investors. 

So far, it has been held in Brussels, Chicago, Paris, Boston, London, Toronto, Atlanta, Dallas, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Ghent and Bonn.

Attracting remittances and diaspora investment

Rwanda Day has been both a platform of discussion between the diaspora and Rwandan officials and a tool for attracting diaspora involvement in the country’s development. 

Remittances received by the country and investment from Rwandan nationals living abroad have increased from $166 million (Rwf 99.6 billion) in 2011 to $469 million (approximately Rwf 470 billion) in 2022, according to the World Bank. 

The country is increasingly looking to attract more investment. The growth of remittances has been sustained over the years even when other external revenue flows declined sharply, because of the global financial crisis, according to the Macro Economic and Financial Management Institute, which tracks remittance inflows.

In May 2010, the Bank of Kigali entered into a partnership with Rwandans living abroad through the Rwanda Convention Association to assist them in remitting funds back home as a way of encouraging them to save and invest in their country. The initiative allowed Rwandans in the diaspora to open bank accounts back home online.

On November 24, a few months before Rwanda Day returns in Washington DC, the Bank of Kigali announced a campaign designed to connect the Rwandan diaspora with convenient and innovative banking solutions. According to the Bank’s statement, the campaign will run in conjunction with the upcoming Rwanda Youth Convention in Ottawa, Canada, leveraging the significant event to engage the diaspora community effectively.

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