President Paul Kagame on Thursday met and interacted with more than 1,000 officer cadets at Rwanda Military Academy in Gako.
The President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).
According to a statement from RDF, the meet between the President and officer cadets was the first of its kind.
Kagame, who wore military fatigues, told the officer cadets to be ready mentally and physically to defend national interests at the highest level.
“We must build our capacity to defend our interests, our development, our people… do the best you can do. Do everything to the best level that you can, with precision and the way it should be done,” he said.
He reminded cadets that the rigorous training they undertake was to prepare them to handle challenging situations during their time in service.
“It teaches you to be aware, to alert you that life is not as smooth as everyone wants,” Kagame told the young trainee-officers.
The cadets are enrolled in different intakes and faculties, from social and military sciences, engineering, and general medicine, to mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics.
They also undertake a one-year officer basic training intake.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen Albert Murasira, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Jean-Bosco Kazura, and Security Advisor to the President, Gen James Kabarebe.
Military service chiefs, and the Rwanda Military Academy Gako Commandant, Maj Gen Innocent Kabandana, also attended the meeting.