President Kagame was on Tuesday the guest of honour at the closing ceremony of Itorero ry?Igihugu (National Leadership Academy) for women and youth, held at Amahoro National Stadium. Participating in the event were over 40,000 high school graduates and youth leaders from across the country and more than 2,000 women leaders completed the three-week civic training camps that began last month. 

In his speech following the presentation of pledges by the different groups categorized by provinces, President Kagame told the youth that they are strength of Rwanda and engine of today and tomorrow and said that the women leaders, along with men, are the pillars of the country. He said that the aim of Itorero is to harness the collective energy of the population, and make use Rwanda’s culture and existing goodwill in nation building.

Observing that the youth were used to ruin this country during the 1994 genocide, Boniface Rucagu – national head of Itorero, said that the academy aims instead to turn this around by transforming Rwandan youth into a strong force that will build and dignify Rwanda. He said that since the establishment of the Itorero in 2007, Rwandans have started to take pride in being Intore (graduates of the Itorero).  He pointed out that the academy has so far graduated a total of 158,394 Rwandans from different sectors, and was producing graduates with a holistic understanding of the challenges facing Rwanda as well as solutions – and as a result were better able to serve their communities.