Rwanda has rebuilt itself from scratch thanks to the country’s youth who sacrificed to liberate it against all odds, and the current youth should work hard to sustain the gains and develop the nation.
Top government officials made the call during the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) youth league that drew over 1,500 participants from across the country yesterday at RPF headquarters in Rusororo Sector, Gasabo District.
The congress discussed the role of the youth in the liberation struggle as well as their role in building a strong party and country.
The youth congress is one of main events organised ahead of celebrations of RPF’s 30 years scheduled for December 16.
Defence minister James Kabarebe said the youth who liberated the country were resilient, courageous and committed.
He said the liberation mission was to restore dignity and give the country identity it had lost for years, leaving thousands scattered in various countries as refugees while those in the country were also internally displaced.
“There was no nation before 1994 as it had lost identity but now we are proud that there is a nation,” Kabarebe told the youth.
However, he said the liberation struggle was not that easy, stressing that the RPA was fighting a bigger number of enemies who had external support but the resilience and the cause for fight drove RPA to success.
“We were diverse from various parts and it was not easy to even inculcate RPF values in us, it has been possible thanks to the old cadres and the same values still espouse today,” he added, hailing President Paul Kagame, who is also the chairman of RPF, for his role in liberating and leading the country.
Kabarebe said the young liberators sacrificed their lives but this has never scared others to quit but soldiered on and won, leading the country to success and the current remarkable achievements.
He urged the youth to never betray their brothers, sisters and the current leadership.
“If Rwanda does not become a middle income in the next 20 to 30 years, it would be a betrayal of the youth and to the current leadership. You have opportunities that have come from far, you remember the youth that sacrificed their lives, that sacrifice cannot be in vain, the youth of your age didn’t quit and you can’t abandon the existing challenges as well,” he said.
Kabarebe urged the youth to uphold discipline, fight ethnicity, divisionism and help the country develop despite its being landlocked.
“Youth have the means but what is required is to think big, discipline is the biggest pillar, we need to build institutionalised discipline, if the country has disciplined youth, it can’t fail to develop,” he said.
‘Be catalysts of development’
François Ngarambe, the RPF secretary-general, reminded the youth about the hardships their agemates went through and the high spirit of the old cadres who put in all their efforts to liberate the country.
He urged the youth to be the catalysts of more development.
“As we are celebrating 30 years, we need to recognise our past and put in more efforts, you don’t have to forget your identity and your origin, you have to shun anything that can lead to your distraction,” Ngarambe said.
“We can’t celebrate 30 years and just be happy while Rwandans still have poor hygiene and malnutrition, fight malnutrition and drug abuse in your respective areas.”
Alain Ndagijimana, a young entrepreneur in ICT, encouraged the youth not to fear anything as the foundation was laid, adding that the youth should start being innovative and have their dreams realised.
“There are always challenges and we build on same challenges to achieve more, opportunities are there starting from a better environment and I encourage youth not to always think they can be given jobs but create own jobs,” said Ndagijimana, expressing readiness to sustain gains and develop the nation.
Meanwhile, RPF league elected 10 youth representatives to the National Executive Committee of RPF Inkotanyi.