KIGALI - The Minister of Defence, Gen. James Kabarebe, yesterday urged students to use the strong institutions available to nurture their leadership skills.
He was addressing guild representatives from 29 public and private institutions of higher learning who converged in Kigali.
The meeting was called by the Ministry of Education to discuss quality issues in higher institutions.
“The government has created strong institutions that you should anchor on to build your leadership abilities and help in the progress of your country,” said Kabarebe.
The minister stated that Rwanda was now secure and ready to do whatever it could to develop its citizens. He explained that security meant good governance, rule of law, accountability and socio-economic development among others.
“Lack of these is tantamount to chaos and insecurity,” he cautioned.
Kabarebe told the youths that despite numerous challenges, the leadership had accomplished much. He noted that it had managed to give Rwandans a sense of direction by clearly stating where the country wants to be, citing the ‘Vision 2020’ strategy.
“The leadership aligned strong organs to feed the vision. It has motivated and empowered people for a common goal,” said Kabarebe, who urged the youth to seize the opportunity and play the leadership role expected of them as educated people.
He also called upon the youth to build a sense of responsibility and character for themselves and said that it was an important attribute. This, coupled with confidence and discipline, he said, would take them to higher heights.
Speaking to The New Times after the event, Moses Sebudandi, the guild president of ULK, said that the minister’s advice was valuable, adding that it had given him more direction in his leadership role.
“I am glad that we have such visionary leaders in our country. There is no doubt that this kind of talk will inspire us to become what we want to be as young leaders,” he said.
In his address, the Minister of Education, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, urged the students to give value to their education by not only working towards their degree qualifications, but by understanding what they are taught and using the knowledge to advance the country.
The meeting was a part of a series of meetings the ministry is organising to chart the way forward on issues of quality in universities.