It is a long-held view that a country that invests in its youth, invests in the sustainability of its achievements.
To realise this, it requires a number of strategies and thank God that in Rwanda, under President Paul Kagame’s leadership, we are on the right track.
On reflection, one finds a series of events that make a Rwandan youth counting himself/herself among the luckiest of their ilk and examples abound as I will explain later in this article.
If you need a well-educated and empowered youth, you have to invest in strategic areas.
To put things into perspective, for a long time in Rwanda, affairs of the youth always took a back seat among national priorities, or simply did not feature anywhere.
The opportunistic leaders of the day only turned to the youth when they needed their energy to fulfill their selfish and evil political agenda.
It was a couple of lost decades that saw the nation with no responsible leadership, no prospects of transformation towards better and no hope for a better generation as the youth who were supposed to carry the torch of hope had been divided along ethnic lines.
Rwanda experienced the apex of its biggest nightmare when the youth were trained to take an active part in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, and later on when a hundreds of thousands of them ended up in exile.
In exile, they continued being used by the same selfish leaders to launch subversive attacks on Rwanda in the hope that they would finish off the job they had started – to exterminate the Tutsi.
This tragedy was put to an end, fortunately by another youth-dominated outfit, the RPF Inkotanyi, under its unique leader, Paul Kagame.
Right from the days of the liberation struggle, Kagame passed off as that distinctive leader, one that the world believes a nation only gets in a century.
Well yes, President Paul Kagame has not only brought a sense of order, discipline, great vision, confidence and prosperity to our beautiful nation but he also brought hope, especially among the once hopeless youth.
Under his leadership and unequivocal guidance, the nation has invested in the right things and at the right time.
Let’s face it, Rwanda has never achieved that much in generations like it is doing under Paul Kagame.
Our economy has grown at a supersonic speed year-on-year, our infrastructure is booming, the quality of life is evident for everyone and many other benchmarks one can use to measure a country on the move.
I want in this article to dwell on the opportunities and the challenge that President Kagame’s leadership present to the youth.
Let me start by the unique opportunity we had as a youth to grow up and work at a time when Rwanda is being led by a great leader that is Kagame.
His wisdom in building a strong foundation that underpins the sustainability of all the development programmes has been to invest in the youth.
This, for the youth is an unmatched opportunity that values their lives and that of the nation at large.
His leadership has seen quality education not only becoming a right but also ensuring that education goes beyond classrooms, and students were empowered to become true agents of the transformation on which the country has embarked.
ICT, business, politics have all become areas from where the youth are mentored and initiated to taking active and leadership roles for continuity.
Without doubt, the youth have been empowered to inherit a considerable number of leadership values that should see our country sustain the pace of its transformational journey.
More than ever before, they now know what they stand for and their role in the journey to prosperity that our country has embarked on.
Seizing these opportunities is the only way we as a youth can give back to our leaders for having empowered us to take part and to thrive to keep our journey of a dignified people through progressive and sustainable development.
Having had such a unique opportunity and not being able to value this in action would be the biggest failure of our generation, one that will hold us accountable for decades to come, I would say…it would be a delinquency of failing our nation just like the bad leaders it has known in its dark past.
The challenge now would be, failing to recognize our dignifying expected role as youth, of being committed to keeping Rwanda’s transformation journey real in our mindset, our deeds and though that thriving to safeguarding the gains of our liberation and our dignity as a people.
The challenge is also never to espouse the belief that human kind is one that tends to forgets quickly.
We should forever be thankful for the liberators of our nation, mainly those that paid the ultimate price, and this can only be done through having positive energy to and vigor to transform our country.
Doing this means being able to choose for ourselves what is best for us as a people this is by keeping the leadership style that has brought us thus far and building on the achievements to do even more.
If you agree, then let’s sustain the journey for it is surely a continuing one.
The Express News Rwanda