The National Democratic Institute (NDI) yesterday joined members of the Forum For Political Paties (FFPP) to launch Rwanda’s premier Youth Leadership Political Academy.
NDI is a non-governmental organization that was founded in 1983 and has supported democratic institutions and practices worldwide for more than two decades. Since its founding, NDI and its local partners have worked to establish and strengthen political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.
In a ceremony attended by several political party representatives and members of the diplomatic corps, the Executive Secretary of FFPP, Anicet Kayigema, said that the Academy was being launched to equip the youth with the tools necessary for them to pick interest in politics.
“We are looking at the academy as the source of empowerment and capacity building for political parties to continue developing basing on their youth who will be benefiting from the academy,” he said
He also pointed out that this academy would provide all political parties an opportunity to learn from each other.
“The political parties here have experienced and achieved a lot that they can learn from each other because they are all interested in growing politically,” he said
The Resident Director of NDI, Gaston Ain Bilbao, told those present that the opening of the academy was preceded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NDI and FFPP that saw four hundred political leaders participate in inter-party dialogue and training activities.
Bilbao said that the two institutions will join hands to employ their experience to help support the youth to become better leaders.
“We all know that in environments where youth lack meaningful opportunities for productive engagement in political processes, their frustrations may foster instability,” he said.
Bilbao warned the forty participants who were picked for the pilot project that the course would not be easy and would require a lot of commitment.
“We have set strict attendance requirements and we have prepared a 350 page manual that needs to be read and internalised to follow each course. Only those fulfilling these as well as other requirements will receive their diplomas at the end,” he warned
The courses will be admnistered by several wellknown politicians, notable among them are Patrick Mazimhaka, Senator Professor Rwigamba Balinda and the NDI Director for Africa. Christopher Fomunyoh.