Students of the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) have been urged to be patriotic and to embrace Pan-African values.
These remarks were made Tuesday during the launch of Pan-African Movement chapter at the varsity’s Mudende campus in Gasabo District.
Cyrus Nkusi, the Secretary General of the Pan African Movement Rwanda chapter (PAM Rwanda), said Africa has gone through a lot of problems, for generations, in most cases at the hands of colonialism and imperialism.
“Africa spent 300 years in slavery before being subjected to decades of colonialism. Much as these have ended, we are still living with the consequences like neo-colonialism,” he said.
He challenged students to embrace critical thinking, especially when it comes to what they can do for the betterment of their country.
“You must reflect on such tragedies while embracing the Pan-Africanism ideology in a broader sense and setting goals to make Africa a better place,” Nkusi added.
He urged them to carry out research, read and understand materials like African Union Constitutive Act, African Union Commission strategic plan and African Youth Charter to remain appraised on the continent’s plans.
Kamali Karegesa, the commissioner of integration and international relations at PAM Rwanda, outlined several prominent Pan-Africanists who fought for the movement and left a tangible legacy like Patrick Lumumba, Nkwame Nkurumah, Nelson Mandela and many others.
“However, it’s absurd to find that politician’s who came after them abandoned the Pan-Africanism spirit. We need to embrace these values to take our country and continent forward,” he said.
He said the movement had tremendously promoted deeper economic integration among African states towards a politically united Africa, citing an example of initiatives like the East African Community, whose concept was hinged on Pan- Africanism.
On the other hand, students expressed concern about the current education system, which they said does not promote Pan-Africanism.
“We are being taught English and French in schools rather than our native languages, in other words we were assimilated and forced to adapt foreign culture through these languages,” said Innocent Mukiza, one of the students.
Since the resuscitation of PAM Rwanda last year, the movement has launched chapters in six local tertiary institutions and officials said similar chapters will soon be opened in high schools.