Kigali, 14 December 2014
President Kagame today addressed the young professionals’ forum, organised by Imbuto Foundation under the theme “Beyond This Moment.”
Speaking at the conclusion of the highly interactive one day forum held at Serena Hotel, President Kagame said the young people were. Not too young to be concerned about the affairs of their nation.
“There isn’t much we can do about our past because it is gone and gone with whatever it went with, but we can change our future. We only need to draw lessons from our past for the present and future and invest our all, so that we can be happy beyond this moment and avoid regrets in future. This moment is a time of soul searching and remember that we affect others as much as others affect us, and hence we should think in terms of ‘we’.”
President Kagame said the youth should take time to define themselves as opposed to waiting for someone else to come and define them.
“The first right is the right to be the one you want to be and the rest will take shape around this. This will affect what we want our nation to be. If you want short cuts, you will not realise fully what you want to be; it’s about the quality of what you want to be. “
President Kagame stated that Rwanda, like other countries, cannot exist in isolation:
“Remember you are not alone. Think of everything as we. The beauty of we is that it leaves no one behind and includes you. We are one family. We are different. We can argue. But in the end, we come back together. The moment we allow ourselves not to be the family of Rwandans that we are, we are losing collectively and individually.”
President Kagame told the youth to take responsibility of their own lives to avoid someone else coming in to take over and direct their lives. He said the young people should not sit and celebrate their past triumphs but always work to avoid going back to the same problems.
“Have the courage to say no, this is not for me, this is not where I belong. I reject it. Just like young people got together and rejected injustice and being stateless forever. Don’t celebrate too much, don’t congratulate yourself too much. Just feel proud that you stood up for yourself and be ready to do it whenever it comes up.”
The First Lady Jeanette Kagame said that today is about thinking and acting beyond this moment:
“We have so much hope in our young people, your potential and dynamism. We hope that you will become warriors of change. To achieve Vision 2020, many dots and hands need to join together. We have a solid foundation but we must aspire for more.”
During the discussions, young people talked about various ways they can ameliorate their lives, taking advantage of the available opportunities as they plan to take Rwanda to greater heights as young leaders.
The First Lady of Rwanda, Jeannette Kagame, through Imbuto Foundation, initiated the Youth Leadership and Mentorship Program in 2007 which consists of activities aimed at empowering Rwanda’s youth. This is a platform aimed at unleashing young talent as well as supporting the government in sharing important Rwandan values that lead to national development. Imbuto Foundation has this far held 21 youth forums countrywide addressing various issues of significance to Rwanda’s holistic progress including Rwandan values, entrepreneurship, financial fitness, leadership and communication skills among others.