Young Rwandan Diaspora meet opens in Indianapolis

A conference of young Rwandan professionals living in the United States opens today in Indianapolis, with a focus on the role of the youth in Rwanda’s sustainable development agenda.

According to a statement from the organisers, the event seeks to mobilise the young Rwandan professional Diaspora to actively support and be part of Rwanda’s 2050 development blueprint.

It was organised by the United States Rwandan Community Abroad (USRCA) in collaboration with the Indianapolis Rwandan Diaspora Network (IRDN).

The conference will include designing a roadmap to enhance young Rwandan professionals’ participation and contribution in the areas of ICT, public health, banking and investments, and the virtual delivery of products and services regardless of distance and location, the statement said.

Prof. John Musiine, President of the United States Rwandan Community Abroad (USRCA). Courtesy.

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and State Minister for East Africa Community Olivier Nduhungirehe are some of the senior government officials attending the event. Other notable participants include Dr Clet Niyikiza, Founder, President and CEO of L.E.A.F. Pharmaceuticals, a global pharmaceutical company with a mission to discover, develop and commercialise innovative and safe therapies for cancer; and Dr Donald Kaberuka, chair of the board of the Global Fund and former President of the African Development Bank. The two will feature on a talk-show titled, inspire me, at the event. 

Participants will also discuss how to enhance capacity building through participating and sharing best practices to support ongoing public and private projects. To achieve this, organisers say, there is need to offer “competency training and professional development, and to define patriotism and nation-building, promoting self-reliance and Agaciro – a concept focusing on dignity of Rwandans –, encouraging innovation and job creation.”

Also to be discussed is how to create more investment opportunities for Rwanda as a gateway to East Africa.

“The event seeks to develop programmes designed to create sustainable partnerships between Rwanda government entities and organisations that the young Rwandan professionals are working for,” the statement added.

Panel discussions will mainly revolve around investment, entrepreneurship, and economic development, with panelists and other delegates discussing the “opportunities, gaps, and skills that make up the Rwandan economic development ecosystem and what young professionals can do today to contribute to its advancement and prepare for the jobs of the future.”

There will also be discussions on health and education, with a focus on the latest advancements in the two sectors. Panelists will explore technological advancements that are behind health advancements and how education in Rwanda can promote the understanding and adoption of sustainable systems.

Prof. John Musiine, president of USRCA, told Saturday Times the organisers are galvanising efforts to encourage young Rwandan professionals in the US to partake in their country’s development back.

He said the Government has enabled many young Rwandans to go for studies in the United States and other developed countries, with some of them choosing to stay and work there after graduation, but they should be active participants in the country’s development.

“It is about time that these young professionals think about giving back to their country through their skills and investments,” he said.