The vice chancellor of University of Rwanda, Prof Philip Cotton, has urged youth to strive for good leadership by learning how to be a part of community development.
He made the remarks while speaking at a two-day training workshop dubbed ‘Youth and the Art of Leadership’ for youth Interactors and Rotaractors under the Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga. The event took place at the National Library in Kigali over the weekend.
“People should understand and appreciate the role, tasks and qualities of leadership. The youth should learn who a good and effective leader is. They have to strive to contribute to community development by making themselves available to support activities happening in communities such as services to the people,” he said.
Prof Cotton also called on the youth to be each other’s keeper, stay united and always aspire to acquire new skills.
“In order to drive a knowledge-based economy and engage in community development, you do not need to only keep relying on knowledge acquired at university, but also on interpersonal skills, ability to question, challenge, evaluate and work in teams,” he said.
Juma Ngali, the president of Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga, said the training was attended by 70 youth who are leaders at different levels of the community, including institutions of learning and professional bodies.
“This is an initiative to mentor the youth in the rotary club who are in two categories, namely; Interactors (from high school) and then Rotaractors (youths aged between 18 and 30.We have called young leaders from different areas so that we empower them to exploit the potential they have,” he said.
Ferridah Kamwesige, one of the trainees, described the exercise as “extremely important for young leaders”.
“I learnt how to communicate to my colleagues because through good communication and time management you can achieve a lot of things. Leadership is about how you teach your colleagues good values and behaviour. Besides that, you have to know how to live in a community and how to treat people around you. It is important to know how to engage in community projects that touch lives of people,” she said.