There’s a growing concern among senior Rwandan leaders that the young generation is complacent and less interested in political participation partly due to the recent socio-economic strides registered since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
It is against this background that the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) has warned its young members against premature contentment but rather strive to take on the leadership mantle from those that liberated the country and stopped the Genocide.
The sentiments were put forward by the RPF top cadres yesterday during a cadreship program for Young Professionals in public and private sector which was held at the party headquarters in Rusororo. This is the second class of the program that started two weeks ago.
The cadreship training was attended by over 200 young professionals from Kigali and neighboring districts. It focused on challenging the young party members to uphold the RPF ideology by maintaining high level commitment and discipline in addition to understanding the current challenges facing Africa and the role of Youth can play to shape a better future, among other lessons to be learned.
Abdallah Utumatwishima, RPF Commissioner in charge of Youth Affairs, said it was imperative for the young members to look back at the sacrifices made by the founding members and draw comparisons to see how best they can take on the leadership mantle.
“Our founding members— majority of whom were very young at that time—went to the frontline and fought a liberation struggle and went on to lead the country to where it is today. The current struggle Rwanda faces now is to sustain those gains and ensure that our citizens are more united, peaceful and prosperous. There is no one to do that but we the young people,” Utumatwishima.
He noted that the National Strategy for Transformation, RPF’s manifesto for the next seven years and the broader Vision 2050 require dedicated and patriotic professionals.
“There is no reason why RPF youth can’t be at the forefront of leading this transformation. There is no time for complacency. True, a lot has been achieved in the last 24 years but it is not even a third of how far we can go as country.” Utumatwishima added.
Aline Rutishisha, one of the participants admitted that there was a sense of satisfaction from the young Rwandans and that it has in somehow created an atmosphere of carelessness.
Rutishisha’s comments were echoed by Tony Kajangwe, another young member of RPF.
“There are many youth who are interested in politics and development of our country but we can do better. I think those who fought to liberate this country are in a league of their own; their spirit, conviction sacrifice is a great resource for us the young people to learn from and emulate,” Kajangwe said.
Theogene Karinamaryo, one of the senior RPF cadres, told the youth that the RPF’s vision is to have an inclusive, civilized and prosperous country that would in one way or another inspire African transformation—and the Rwandan youth have a “big role” to play, he said.
“Our values as RPF members should lead us to a more prosperous and inclusive country that would in the long run challenge our neighbouring African countries to build lasting peace and prosperity. This calls for the youth who have a Pan-African spirit, patriotic, united and dedicated to service,” Karinamaryo said.
Meanwhile, on the margins of youth cadreship training was the RPF Social affairs cluster meeting which met to deliberate on how to improve social welfare of citizens, quality of education and issues facing Rwandan culture.
Senator Jean Nepo Sindikubwabo, RPF Social Affairs Commissioner, said the party seeks to devise means to better develop health services and family planning matters, foster quality education and mechanism to build a strong Rwanda cultural – urging parents to take center stage in raising responsible and cultural sensitive children.