Dallas, 23 May 2015

President Kagame today addressed over 500 young Rwandans from across the United States and Canada gathered in Dallas, Texas for the first edition of the Rwanda Youth Forum.

Speaking on the sacrifices made to liberate Rwanda, President Kagame highlighted the role youth played in liberating Rwanda:

“Rwanda was liberated by young people like you. We listened to our conscience, and recognised our duty to fight injustice. Many of us gave our youth to this cause. So many others gave their lives to the struggle so that you would not have to. The liberation mindset must remain alive in all of us, until we achieve social and economic transformation.”

President Kagame challenged the youth to seize Rwanda’s opportunities, focus on excellence and expect results:

“Do not accept or tolerate mediocrity, in yourselves or in others. Defy the low expectations that some may have of you or that you may even have of yourself. You simply do not have the luxury of getting tired or giving up.”

President Kagame called on youth to carry forward the legacy of dignity:

“As children of Rwanda, you are the guardians of this legacy of agaciro. Let it be reflected every day in your thoughts, words, and above all, deeds.”

“Rwanda has very high ambitions, and few resources, but we must get there because we have you. There are no apologies to be made about this. This is the mindset of a nation, that has chosen agaciro for itself,” President Kagame added.

President Kagame was joined on a panel titled “Owning the Future” by Ephraim Rwamwenge, CEO of Rwa Business Group; Aloys Zunguzungu, Founder of Rwandans 4 Water; Charity Kabango, Co-Founder Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners; Sandrine Irankunda, Vice President of Atlanda Rwandan Community.

During the panel discussion, the youth shared their path to contributing to Rwanda’s journey including through investing by creating their own businesses, providing water to communities and supporting the public sector.

Concluding the panel, President Kagame called on the youth to be part of transforming Rwanda:

“Rwanda can be a great country, its young people can be great if they make the right choices.”