EDITORIAL: Youth have their work cut out in the next 7 years

In his inaugural address shortly after he was sworn in for another seven-year term on Friday, President Paul Kagame laid out his top priorities, with investments in the country’s young people topping the list.

In his inaugural address shortly after he was sworn in for another seven-year term on Friday, President Paul Kagame laid out his top priorities, with investments in the country’s young people topping the list.

“Our priority is to deepen the moral pact with all the young women and men who voted for the first time, and with such passion,” Kagame said.

Rwanda actively protects and empowers its people. And the youth have been at the centre of a myriad of interventions designed to lift the people of this country.

The youth have been an integral part of Rwanda’s recovery. But it’s also largely the youth that liberated Rwanda and set it on the path of inclusive transformation.

The Rwandan youth epitomise the country’s vigor and dynamism in forging ahead.

This was again evident throughout the election season. Many young people worked day and night to ensure the presidential campaigns and subsequent poll did not only go incident-free but also brought out the very best of us as a people.

Over the last seven years and the preceding years, the RPF-led government has rolled out programmes to empower the youth and make them more competitive on regional and international labour markets.

Many of these programmes have started paying off. We are increasingly seeing young Rwandan innovators flexing their muscles with new solutions, even going all the way to the final stages of major global competitions.

Young Rwandans are also increasingly becoming bolder venturing into the world of entrepreneurship and business leaders around the world are starting to take notice – some have already bought shares in local startups.

Rwandan youth are steadily realising what they need to do to make it in the labour market: acquiring the right skills. Many students are now taking up technical and vocational courses with view to acquiring practical and entrepreneurial skills as opposed to the conventional, largely theoretical courses offered by the formal education system. And it’s started to pay off so much even university graduates have started enrolling for short-term TVET courses to stand a better chance of getting a job or be in position to create one themselves.

Others have turned to agriculture and they have started reaping the fruits.

Now, President Kagame has made clear his government will continue to invest in the youth and help them become the best they can possibly be.

It’s incumbent upon the youth to continue making the most of these opportunities, so they can develop themselves and impact their country.

The youth should be active participants in the continued effort to achieve the country’s aspirations.

 

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