Rwandan youth have the capacity to not only consolidate the country’s gains over the last two decades but to also be the custodians of its future, officials have said.
They were addressing at least 2000 youths who turned up for the launch of a nationwide youth-led initiative, dubbed Inter-generation Dialogue, in Rubavu District on Sunday.
The programme was initiated by Miss Rwanda 2016 Jolly Mutesi last year but it was rolled out of the capital Kigali for the first time over the weekend.
“The country has made tremendous gains over the last 23 years but it’s your responsibility as the youth to ensure the sustainability of these achievements,” Francis Kaboneka, the Minister for Local Government told the youth.
He urged the youth to steer away from substance abuse, unintended pregnancies, hate and genocide ideologies and idleness, and rather embrace education, entrepreneurship, innovation and the various opportunities that the country offers to them.
Mutesi said the overall objective of the initiative is to bridge the gap between the younger and older generations and to bring the youth closer to distinguished members of society from whom they can get inspiration to become responsible and visionary citizens.
In Rubavu, the event attracted secondary school students from around the district, young entrepreneurs and other youths in the area.
The maiden edition of the dialogue was held last year in Kigali and attracted students from five secondary schools around the city on the one hand and various government officials on the other.
Alphonse Munyentwali, the Governor of Western Province, said the youth need not only to appreciate what has hitherto been achieved but to step up and proactively partake in the process to build the country.
Assoumpta KaremeraUwamariya, 24, one of the participants, gave a testimony of how her life had changed ever since she decided to go entrepreneurial by making wine from, among other ingredients, beetroot.
She said she has since set up a factory and used proceeds from her income-generating activities to finance her education and buy herself a car.