GASABO - President Paul Kagame yesterday urged graduates of the National Civic Education Academy (Itorero ry’igihugu) to use the knowledge obtained from the academy to transform themselves into exemplary and result oriented citizens.
While officiating at the closing of a 3 week-civic education programme for over 1140 Agricultural officers, Veterinarians and selected members of cooperative society from across the country, President Kagame who is also the ‘chief tutor’ of the academy told the participants (Intore) that they should be case studies of people who speak less and do more as results speak for themselves.
Kagame told the mainly youthful group that though there are signs that country has progressed in the last few years, the pace at which the progress has come is not enough and there is need to increase if the country is to achieve its development goals.
He compared the energetic group to new spare parts added to an engine to make it run faster and efficiently, adding that if the pace at which the country has grown in the past 10 years can be put in terms of an engine, it is a diesel engine which is running slowly yet what is required at the moment is a petrol engine running at full throttle.
In much inspiration words, Kagame who had earlier decided to drop his written speech to address the upbeat group, the 6th since the restoration of the academy, in a free flowing speech, reminding them that what the country needs today are leaders who sit less in meetings and give no speeches but those who implement projects and deliver results.
Kagame told the group named “Ingamburuzabukene” which literally translates into “Anti-Poverty activists” that had earlier presented performance contracts (Imihigo) before him that since results speak for themselves, are visible and evident before everyone, the country is looking upon and their input is eagerly awaited.
He urged them to live by their name ‘Intore’ which literally means ‘The Chosen or exemplary” and also educate as many Rwandans as possible. Kagame also told the participants who are mainly practitioners in the agricultural sector that ‘business’ is the best alternative today than anything else, for country’s to fulfil economic targets and development.
Kagame told the participants that even agriculture is now business, urging them to go out there and sensitise Rwandan to embrace modern agriculture to increase production and earn from agricultural produce.
He reminded them that they are an integral part of the country’s vision to diversify agriculture to increase food production sustainably, promote modern agricultural practices, land utilisation, value addition and market for produce as a major passage to development.
Among other things, Kagame lectured participants on the need for Rwandans to restore their dignity and values stripped of them and Africans in general for many years, as it is the first step towards recognising ones destiny.
Kagame said that for the last few years, the discussions have been on how Africans can regain their dignity and there is a possibility, only if things like poverty, ignorance, Malnutrition, dependence on others, self-pity are done away with.
On their part, the participants pledged to reach out to all to all people and sensitise about modern agriculture, promote commercial production, market for produce, fight corruption, provide good customer care.
“Your Excellence, we pledge to join hands with the Government to create awareness among Rwandans on the importance of modern agriculture, increasing harvests, combating soil erosion, embracing technology and commercial production” the group representative vowed.
Boniface Rucagu, the Chairman of the National Taskforce said that among the group were women with kids, 33 in total, who are also now, considered ‘Intore’.
“Thank you Your Excellence for restoring the academy, in return this people you see here have pledged to work with you and to support you come 2010 and they now have the knowledge to be self reliant” Rucagu noted.
The Civic education programme was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and according to Christopher Bazivamo, the Chairman of the National Steering committee of the taskforce, the target is to have as many people in different professions trained and in turn they train others.