KIGALI - First Lady Jeannette Kagame yesterday told young professionals from different sectors to be driven with self-esteem and dignity as part of their character. This was during the sixth chapter of the Imbuto Foundation Youth Forum Series.
The foundation has held several forums in the past aimed at equipping young Rwandan entrepreneurs with motivational skills, entrepreneurship and personal growth enhancement.
Yesterday’s forum dubbed ‘Towards a Dignified Generation’, drew close to 1000 young entrepreneurs.
Citing the nation’s progress so far, Mrs Kagame said: “We have moved on from the time we were dead to the world and dead to ourselves.Nevertheless, we could only rise because we have touched the very bottom, on our climb back up; we are primarily concerned with basic survival and creating a semblance of sanity in the country.”
She also added that there are still challenges lying ahead of Rwanda, the country cannot afford a step back.
“We should appreciate our modest successes and begin to truly aspire for greater things,” Mrs Kagame noted.
She said it’s evident that there is a paradigm shift across the country.
“From changing our attitude and adopting a particular mindset, we are now ready to implement our ideas geared at socio-economic transformation.”
“If other countries can be successful based solely on the fruits of their hard work, why can’t we?” questioned Mrs. Kagame.
She told the youth to be inspired by honest ways of making Rwanda a self-sufficient country, one that is worthy of honour and esteem, able to confidently place her cards and stand on her own on the global economic table and trade forums.
“Let us remind ourselves that through sacrifice, determination and the quest for dignity we can achieve it,” said the First Lady.
Speaking at the function, the UN Resident Coordinator, Aurelien Agbénonci said that the responsibility of building a nation and achieving sustainable development is a duty of every individual and every citizen.
“The youth should have the biggest role in building the future of this nation. They are the guardian of this nation and the banner of Rwanda that will continue to aim higher with dignity and integrity,” said Agbénonci.
He added that a constant focus on the country’s aspirations and vision is the only way the country can achieve economic transformation and self reliance.
“The vision of economic transformation Rwanda aspires is an economy that is more predictive, innovative people that deliver high value products and service for business,” said the UN boss.
“This means that we need to continue to forward unique national policies and programmes that are tailored to what is uniquely Rwanda-a nation that is destined to succeed and as an example for the entire continent.”
During the function, youth attendants were also inspired by globally recognized high fliers like Dr. Paul Farmer. The American anthropologist and physician and author of the Mountains Beyond Mountains, gave a lecture on ‘committing to a purpose beyond yourself.’
Father Godfrey Nzamujo, a continentally recognized achiever and a winner of several high profile awards including the Laureate Prize, also gave a lecture on ‘Agriculture as a weapon of mass construction’ while the famous Dambisa Moyo the author of the famed ‘Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa’ also gave a lecture on ‘economic self-reliance and dignity.’