Rwandans at home and abroad have been urged to put their country's cultural values at the centre of their day to day activities. The call was made by President Paul Kagame on Saturday while addressing thousands of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda gathered in San Francisco, US, for a Rwanda Day event.
Rwanda has a unique culture dating centuries back and the Government has taken deliberate efforts to ensure that many of the country’s challenges are largely addressed through homegrown solutions – that are rooted in our culture.
However, a lot more needs to be done.
For instance, there is need to establish a National Cultural Centre whose main objective would be to preserve Rwandan culture and pass it on to the next generations.
Teaching the young about their culture and why they should live by its values is critical in nation building. A national cultural centre would serve as a hub for cultural education and preservation.
For example, inter-schools music, culture and drama competitions can be organised under the auspices of a national cultural centre. We could also see national cultural competitions and the cultural centre would also play a leading role in ensuring that local theatre thrives, and creates employment for several people.
Indeed, the Ministry of Sports and Culture should prioritise establishment of a national cultural centre as soon as possible.
Culture has been at the forefront of efforts to rebuild Rwanda following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Culture is what inspired the home-grown solutions in tackling the country’s post-Genocide challenges, ranging from justice and reconciliation, to poverty reduction and accountable governance.
Like the President said, culture is the common thread that runs through a society and brings people together. Indeed, it is the glue that holds a people together.
As such, a national cultural centre would go a long way in enhancing the role of culture in national development.