The battle for Rwanda’s future
I was recently asked deep questions by a group of young Rwandans – how do we fulfill our aspirations; how can we contribute to Rwanda; what kind of society will Rwanda become; what is the ideal Rwanda.
I was very heartened by their passion and thoughtful questions. But, the questions raised an even more fundamental point – they simply cannot fulfil their aspirations unless Rwanda succeeds as a nation. The battle to guarantee Rwanda’s success is the single most important war of our time.
I believe these questions can never be answered once and for all. These are questions we need to keep answering from one generation to another, from one government to another, year in year out.
These questions involve drive and vision, a spirit of innovation and imagination, a spirit of excellence and teamwork, a spirit of hard work and inclusion, so that we may continue to find and create new opportunities and make new breakthroughs in order to continue to improve the lives of Rwandans.
This also involves forging a new consensus about the core values and ideals that we subscribe to as a nation. Our togetherness can be a tremendous strength, but do we have a sense of unity as a people tied to a common destiny – even though our views and concerns, our doubts and fears may be different? It is critical that we do.
Indeed, this question of shared values and ideals and common purpose may be the more important enterprise in our nation-building because if we do not get our domestic ship in order, there is little hope to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities of a volatile world.
President Kagame has spoken at length on the critical need for good governance and to deepen the trust between government and our people. Implicit in what he said, is also the importance of getting three key relationships right, the relationship of self to others; the relationship of Rwanda to the world; the relationship of the future to the past. We need to build a consensus about the values, ideas and ideals that underpin these relationships as they will frame our policies and national dialogues.
Survival and success are inextricably intertwined. We have to keep working the ingredients and adjust the formulas that will assure survival and success for the coming generations. There are plenty of opportunities for all of us if we make the effort, take calculated risks and stay united.
Rwandans with the determination and creative impulses to succeed, a sense of responsibility and appreciation for others, a mentality of abundance; Rwandans with a strong identity, rooted in Rwanda, yet global in outlook; Rwandans with a sense of their own history, and a sense of confidence and optimism about the future.
When we have trust between our government and our people, and the right relationships between self and others; our nation and the world; our past and our future, we will have an inclusive and supportive society, an enterprising and creative people, and a resolute and resilient nation. We will have created the conditions for all Rwandans to continue to pursue their dreams and aspirations.
Our prospects are brighter than ever before. As a nation, we are stronger, more cohesive, and have more resources than ever before. The future is ours to conquer.
Contact email: liban.mugabo[at]gmail.com