EDITORIAL: Time to prepare the youth, our future leaders

The Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) has unveiled President Paul Kagame as its flag bearer in the forthcoming presidential elections.

Well, it was a foregone conclusion since millions of people had signed petitions to amend the constitution regarding presidential term limits. They wanted him to stay on.

Despite it being the will of the people, which they demonstrated in a democratic manner, the move seemed to irritate foreigners, as if their opinion mattered.

President Kagame credentials cannot be denied and Rwandans are on the frontline to better appreciate them.

In his acceptance speech, he raised a very important point; what is the young generation doing to keep the patriotic fire burning. Are they prepared enough to take over the mantle of future leaders?

Learning leadership skills should not wait for the civic education camps where a group of youth is taught Rwandan and patriotic values and then sent home, never to broach the subjects again.

Preparing the next generation should be a continuous exercise, even in their homes. If someone is of voting age, he or she participates in democratic processes in their communities, what stops them from stepping forward and offer their services?

What they lack is encouragement to put their best foot forward, to brave responsibilities that they might think are too heavy for them.

Parents can play a big role in shaping the leadership qualities in their children by giving them responsibilities at an early age. There is no better school than learning from one’s failures.

Our current crop of leadership, with Kagame at the fore, has lit the path. All our future leaders need to do is to follow the path, not stray.