President Paul Kagame, yesterday, arrived in Kampala for a two-day visit, and was received by his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe.
Presidents Kagame and Museveni later in the evening attended the Young Achievers’ Awards ceremony at Speke Resort in Munyonyo, where President Kagame was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for inspiring the young generation in Africa to desire for change and a better life.
In his Keynote address, President Kagame told the award recipients and guests that achievements do not come by accident or miracle but by investment of time, talent and resources.
“To your peers, you have demonstrated that when you are ambitious and proactive, anything is possible even in the face of seemingly overwhelming challenges. It is this way of doing things that creates the brand of Africans that will restore our dignity, advance the cause of self reliance and end Africa’s perpetual problem of poverty and underdevelopment,” Kagame said.
Citing the steady growth of African economies despite global economic turbulence, President Kagame urged the African youth to take advantage of opportunities offered by the phenomenon using dynamism of ideas, products and services to build further growth.
“Taking on the new leadership role and exercising their creative potential, young people have to effectively participate in the political and economic processes in our countries. It means changing the mentality that has crippled us into thinking that we cannot do things by ourselves, which has had a negative effect on Africa,” the President added.
Calling on the youth to strive for dignity, President Kagame said: “In the new Rwanda, one of our priorities is to instill in our youth, a strong sense of self worth and character – what we call in Kinyarwanda AGACIRO. This is in addition to providing skills and knowledge so that they develop themselves, participate in modernizing our economy, and confidently compete globally.”
President Museveni said that the youth have the option of taking the path of leisure and self destruction or of doing things that are beneficial to them.
He said President Kagame is the right person to deliver a message of inspiration to the youth because as young person he and other Rwandans were able to liberate Uganda and later on Rwanda.
“Being young is not enough, you need the right ideas. In Rwanda, liberation was brought about by young people with right ideas. This event is sending the right signal to the youth who are diverting from doing the right thing. To those who have been doing the right thing and have been awarded today, I congratulate you; but the question is; what percentage are the youth who are doing the right thing?” Museveni asked.
A number of Ugandan youth were recognized for their outstanding achievements in various fields including fashion, art and culture, music and entertainment. Other awards included film and television, media and society, ICT, business and trade, among others.
The ceremony was attended by high ranking Ugandan and Rwanda officials.