Youth from countries of the Great Lakes region converged in Kigali yesterday to celebrate ten years since the Kigali Declaration was made.
The event that led to the 1999 Declaration was presided over by President Kagame who was then the vice president.
Among recommendations made during the conference, included harnessing peace building and conflict resolution in the region.
It was then decided that a youth centre for conflict-resolution be established to help in promoting peace in the region.
Participants during the conference had also requested that the Rwanda National Youth Council take over the exercise of ensuring the establishment of the centre. That is when the Kimisagara Youth Centre (KYC) was born.
According to the Director of KYC, Donatien Nsengimana, the centre has since been involved in many projects that have seen regional youths participate in peace-building.
“Prior to the anniversary, we organized regional youth summits that took place in Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Uganda and were aimed at strengthening young people as stakeholders in the political decision making process,” said Nsengimana.
Speaking at the celebrations yesterday, the Advisor to the Minister of of Youth, Serge Gullaume Nzabonimana, urged regional youths to put more efforts in promoting peace in their countries especially during this period when almost all regional countries prepare to hold elections.
“As we draw closer to elections in our countries, youth are now the target of bad politics. But you should restrain from all those actions that my draw back our region into the periods of conflict like it has been in the past,” he advised.
Rwanda and Burundi will hold presidential elections this year while Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo will hold theirs in 2011.