Kigali, 27 June 2016

President Kagame today addressed 2000 youths from across the country who concluded Itorero training in different disciplines, including patriotism, entrepreneurship and self reliance.

In his address, President Kagame asked the youth to uphold their identity as Rwandans.

“As Rwandans we should always take the path that leads us to what we are and who we want to be. In the past we took the wrong path of divisionism, where leaders decided that the country should belong to only a certain group of people, leaving out others. This necessitated liberation and re-orientation to the right path. But however much we may be different in many aspects; we are united by our identity and need to live a good life where we enjoy prosperity, security and peace.”

President Kagame pointed out that the principal purpose of Itorero was to impart the message of the identity of Rwandans and the contribution of each and everyone to make the country and the people achieve this.

On the purpose and responsibility of the youth towards their country, President Kagame said that the country had big expectations from its young people owing to their energy and stage in life.

“Being young should not be an end in itself. The younger you are, the greater the expectations from your country. Being young is an opportunity and it should be invested towards improving the country for other generations. The youth should utilise their energy and knowledge to provide solutions to the country’s problems.”

President Kagame advised the youth to build their capacities aiming to be the best they can be, as they prepare to embark on serving their country.

“The youth should take advantage of investments made by the country in order to create opportunities to ameliorate their lives and for others. The purpose of itorero is to create clarity of the message to give the youth headway.”

President Kagame asked the youth to cultivate confidence and self belief if they are to attain the highest level of their aspirations.

“The best response to a critic is to be consistent in doing what is good. People at one time used to call this country a tiny failed state. But the story is different today because we refused to fail and we are not small because we refuse to be so. We are big because we think big. We have refused to choose the easy way out. We have made one very clear choice and that is to be big, cognisant of the cost. If you want to be big, we are together.”

President Kagame pointed out that protection of what the country has achieved is the responsibility of every Rwandan and not just the armed forces.