Over 270 Diaspora students begin Itorero programme

The sixth phase of a civic education programme (Itorero) for Rwandan students studying abroad opened Monday at the Rwanda Military Academy, Gako, in Bugesera District, with 276 youth participating.
A section of the students attending the two-week civic education programme at Rwanda Military Academy. The New Times/ J. Mbanda.
A section of the students attending the two-week civic education programme at Rwanda Military Academy. The New Times/ J. Mbanda.

The sixth phase of a civic education programme (Itorero) for Rwandan students studying abroad opened Monday at the Rwanda Military Academy, Gako, in Bugesera District, with 276 youth participating.

The two-week exercise is aimed at equipping young persons with the skills, knowledge and capacity to positively contribute to national development upon completing their studies.

Opening the training, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, urged the youngsters to be patriotic and work toward developing their country, saying the youth are a nation’s greatest resource.

The students, studying from 15 countries across the world, will also be sensitised on the current issues pertaining to the development of Rwanda, challenges and the future prospects, and the potential role they can play to help the country realise its aspirations.

“You have many opportunities around you; seize them, exploit them to develop your country. We value you and the country doesn’t doubt your potential,” Nsengimana told the seemingly excited youth who will also undergo light military-style drills.

The minister told the trainees—most of whom pursuing undergraduate degrees—that their country’s future lies in their hands and that it is up to them to decide how best they want to shape their nation.

The Director-General of the Diaspora Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Perfait Gahamanyi, said the civic education is part of the wider plan of tapping several opportunities from the Diaspora, as well as creating a forum for Rwandans abroad to come on board to build the nation.

The majority of the participants at the programme are students from various institutions of higher learning in Uganda and the US.

“I am eager to learn from this civic education programme; although we are just beginning, I am sure the lessons will be invaluable. I am looking forward to acquiring knowledge on unity, patriotism and our country’s economy,” said Fred Ndayisenga, a third-year Social Sciences student at Kyambogo University in Uganda.

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