BUGESERA - President Paul Kagame has called on the youth to take advantage of the existing peace in the country and the available technology to make their contribution to the development of Rwanda.
The President made the call, yesterday, while addressing over 300 students who are taking part in civic education – Itorero - at Gako Military Academy in Bugesera district.
The President reminded the students of how fortunate they are to be living in times when all their rights are guaranteed, in a country where only a few years ago a section of the society did not even have the right to life.
He went on to point out that the Rwandan youth are equally fortunate because today they have access to good education both inside and outside the country, with access to modern technology that opens up the whole world for them, which was not the case in the recent history of the country.
As Rwandans, the President told the students, they can’t afford to waste any opportunity, noting that they need to appreciate the responsibilities weighing on their shoulders, especially if they understand the problems that Rwanda and Africa face, and if they want to find solutions for them.
Kagame told the youth that for this to happen they must study hard and acquire relevant skills, emphasizing that these are aspirations within their reach.
As leaders of tomorrow, the President told the students, that these are issues they should seriously be thinking about.
The President added that they cannot achieve their aspirations if they do not have ambitions and the drive to be better.
The Head of State told the students that to accomplish their responsibilities as patriotic Rwandans they have to be characterized by the Rwandan culture
He went on to say that there always has to be a process of accountability and for anyone to ask for accountability they have to take part in the life of the country, so that they do not only ask for accountability but they also give it.
The President reminded the students that there are no shortcuts in life.
“It doesn’t work. If it works it is temporary and doesn’t give you good results,” he said, pointing out that succeeding is derived from commitment.
Kagame made it clear to the students that there is nothing to stop them from achieving their dreams. The President added that the Rwandan people have the right and capacity to transform their lives, saying that it all starts with the mindset and change of attitude.
He reminded the students that historically, there is no society where people have developed because someone else did it for them.
The President pointed out that the civic education session was initiated by people who live outside Rwanda and feel that they have been detached and need to reconnect with their culture and country.
He went on to say that Itorero is a process that involves all sectors of our society, both inside and outside the country and nobody should think that there is anything sinister about it.
The President advised the students to desist from self destructive behavior such as substance abuse, as it is neither good for them nor for their families and country.
The youth, who are pursuing their studies in 19 different countries, had the opportunity to ask the President questions of their choice.
The questions ranged from social, economic and political issues affecting the country, region and continent.
Speaking on behalf of the other students, Deborah Uwamahoro, thanked the President for the exemplary leadership and teaching the youth what dignity truly means (kwihesha agaciro).
Uwamahoro said that they are privileged to converge in such big numbers, with one aim - to learn about their country.
She promised the President that they (students) are committed to advancing his legacy of building Rwanda.
The students will spend two weeks at Gako. Most of them study under the Presidential Scholarship Programme. The programme was initiated in 2006 by President Kagame to provide opportunities for the youth to pursue higher education in various universities in the United States.