The Minister of Youth, Protais Mitali, has said that empowering young people is very vital because it encourages them to participate in development initiatives, from community to global level.
He made the remarks yesterday as the UN launched the International year of the Youth.
“As we celebrate the launch of the 2010 “UN International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”, the youth need to be given opportunities and ensure that their voices are heard,” he said.
Mitali stressed that young people must be given opportunities to participate as respected partners in decision-making and action at all levels.
“It is in everyone’s interest to empower the youth with the skills they need to ensure that they build a more sustainable future,” he said.
He called on everybody to work hand-in-hand with the youth, and encourage them to seize the opportunity this year to network, share ideas and launch initiatives that promote peace, mutual understanding and development for all.
“This year’s theme aims at raising awareness about young people’s contribution to society and to help them address the challenges they face,” he noted.
“Young people have the energy and motivation to propose innovative solutions to today’s global challenges and the aspiration and tools to build bridges of dialogue across cultures”.
He added that, in a bid to implement global policies on youth, Rwanda is among the first African countries to ratify the African Youth Charter because it creates a legally binding framework for governments to develop supportive policies and programmes for young people.