President Kagame has called for concerted efforts against drug abuse, which he described as a global epidemic.
Kagame was speaking Tuesday afternoon at the closure of the two-day National Dialogue Council (Umushyikirano) at Kigali Convention Centre, which convened over 2000 participants and followed live via different media platforms across Rwanda and beyond.
The President said drug abuse is a global problem that needs to be tackled head-on.
“We cannot allow our youth to go to waste,” he said at a gathering where the role of the youth in national development featured prominently on the agenda.
He said drug abuse affects all the categories of youth in Rwanda and elsewhere in the world, adding that stringent measures must be taken to reverse the trend.
The demand is very high and the amount of money involved is equivalent to some countries' economies, the President said.
The Head of State also called for continued coordination between government institutions to deliver better services to the people.
He further highlighted key values that Rwandans, especially those in positions of leadership, should espouse, including serving, respecting and listening to citizens; fighting corruption and abuse of office; using public resources effectively; treating every Rwandan equally and giving women and girls the respect they deserve.
On the second day of deliberations, participants discussed strategies to place the youth at the centre of the country’s development agenda.
Youth who have for the last three days convened at a parallel event at Petit State in Remera, Kigali – attending the YouthConneckt Convention – were given the opportunity to participate in Umushyikirano via video conferencing, as were ordinary citizens gathered at four key locations across the country, namely Gatsibo, Nyaruguru, Musanze and Nyamasheke.