Over 3,000 youths taking part in YouthConnekt Convention (YCC 2019) were on Wednesday tipped on being solution-oriented and take a lead in the development of the country. The youths who are gathered at Intare Conference Arena in Rusororo sector, Gasabo district, include members of Itorero Urungano, student representatives from secondary schools and universities, those working in security organs and others from the diaspora coming from 17 countries, among others. This year’s youth convention marks the 8th since it was officially inaugurated by President Paul Kagame in 2012. Its main objective is to give the youth a platform to discuss their role in nation development, share experience and also talk about the challenges they face. The meeting began with a panel discussion that was moderated by Geraldine Umutesi, the Deputy Director-General of Imbuto Foundation, and hosted former senator Tito Rutaremara, State Minister Edouard Bamporiki (Youth and Culture), Captain Agnes Mutumwinka of Rwanda Defence Force and Kevine Kagirimpundu, a young entrepreneur. “Your generation is lucky enough because of the good leadership you have which is different from ours when we were at your age,” Rutaremara said while addressing the youth. Rutaremara added that: “What kept us going was the prospect of unity among Rwandans in the country and those who were abroad. For us to achieve that, we had to struggle and seek solutions from ourselves.” On his part, Bamporiki urged the youth to dream and think outside the box. He said that it is ok to have a dream but one must be ready to go beyond them because in most cases, dreams are determined by ones circumstances and gave his own experience. “You can go beyond your dreams. My dream was to come to Kigali and get maximum Rwf100,000 and go back to my village to start a shop business. When I came to Kigali and heard the President saying that the aim of RPF was to liberate the country for every Rwandan to dream big, this changed my mind and I started dreaming beyond myself,” he said. Bamporiki added that: “as the youth, we have to dream big and work hard to achieve our dreams.” Being Responsible Entrepreneur Kagirimpundu the co-founder of Uzuri K&Y, a locally based African inspired shoe brand and manufacturer, also advised the youth at the convention to be responsible. “Being an entrepreneur simply means being responsible in whatever you do, not only doing business. “We should always be mindful of the fact that solving problems the country is faced with is not just the duty of the government, she said, advising the youth that starting a business does not require colossal sums of money. Since its inauguration in 2012, YouthConnect Convention has been attended by over 20,000 youths from different backgrounds, and has among others led to the birth YouthConnekt Africa Summit in 2017. The youths that took part in the YouthConnekt Convention are expected to also take part in the two-day-long Umushyikirano 2019 that starts on Thursday.