The Minister for Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi, has urged young Rwandans to see themselves as solution providers rather than sit back and only lament about problems in their communities and personal lives.
Mbabazi was speaking yesterday during a social good summit organised to hold deeper conversation on young people’s involvement and role in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The forum was organised yesterday by the University of Kigali, One UN Rwanda and the Ministry of Youth.
It follows a successful ‘youth connekt’ Africa summit hosted in Kigali in July 2017 which demonstrated that youth have a major role in driving the SDGs and innovation in general.
Addressing the youths who turned up for the event, Mbabazi said that the SDGs should not be on paper only, but should be practical and help empower the youth to innovate to find solutions.
“That challenge is there for you to solve not to lament,” she said, citing examples of young entrepreneur who have come up with solutions to address various challenges in society.
“Your education should empower you to bring solutions that should impact you and the community.”
Meanwhile, the minister appealed to universities to fight plagiarism while maintaining education standards.
“If you want a nation to collapse, let universities accept cheating, or substandard work. What happens in schools will be reflected in what we will see outside of school when doctors or engineers will cheat in whatever they do and the government goals will not be reached,” she said.
She also discouraged the youth from destructive habits like drugs, human trafficking, theft, and plagiarism as she called upon them to organise themselves in cooperatives as one of the ways of initiating their own jobs instead of seeking them.
“Don’t think that cooperatives are for the youths who did not reach university. When you come together in cooperatives you can’t fail to get resources. Where there are ideas, resources follow, but where there are no ideas, no resources,” she said.
Professor Manasseh Nshuti, the chairman board of promoters of the University of Kigali urged the youth to take the SDGs as something that directly concern them.
“It is about your lives, about the lives of your children and maybe your grandchildren,” he said.
Held annually during the UN general assembly week, the social good summit unites a lively community of global citizens and progressive thought leaders around a common theme. This year, the summit focused on how to unlock technology’s potential to make the world a better place.