NYARUGENGE - President Paul Kagame has called for involvement of children in matters that affect the nation saying that as tomorrow’s leaders, they ought to be exposed to these issues at an early age.
The President made the call yesterday while gracing the opening ceremony of the 5th National Children’s Summit, a meeting that for the first time also involved children from member states of the East African Community.
The role of children in fighting violence perpetrated against them was the focus of this year’s discussions.
At the summit, the President highlighted the country’s emphasis on the rights of children, through education and protection from any forms of violence.
Emphasizing the importance of prioritizing education for the children, Kagame cited the important lessons learnt from Rwanda’s history stressed the need for nations to invest in their children as a means of transformation.
“Any nation that aspires for development, socio-economic transformation, must invest in education of children like you and must give them good upbringing based on the nations’ values,” Kagame said.
He called upon children to also reciprocate by respecting all their elders, collaborate with educators and obey and help their parents, as a way of positively responding to the education they receive.
However, he urged them to understand the correct meaning of obedience, saying that children should not listen and obey those who tell them to do wrong. He also urged parents to fulfill their obligation of making time for their children despite their busy work schedules.
As a matter of urgency, the President said government has set up a commission in charge of children—the National Children’s Commission (NCC) to implement and promote policies that address issues of children.
He called upon all relevant institutions in the country to uproot and work tirelessly towards eliminating any form of violence based on gender and perpetrated against children.
The President challenged the children to always keep the country at heart if they are to be better leaders of tomorrow.
The meeting that was held at Serena Kigali Hotel attracted 416 children representatives from all sectors in the country and the five representatives from all the EAC states.