Kigali, 30 June, 2013

President Kagame has called on the youth of Rwanda to fulfill their responsibilities with diligence and commitment in order to make a difference in their lives and their country because they are the strength and the future of Rwanda. President Kagame was addressing over 800 Rwandan youth at the closing of the Youth Connekt Dialogue which took place today at Serena Kigali Hotel under the theme: “The Promise of a Post Genocide Generation”

“We must think carefully about what we invest in our youth because a seed that is not well nurtured will not blossom.You must look beyond your individual interest because you are not just individuals, you are the nation. You must look beyond education and ensure that each of you uses your knowledge to build, not destroy your nation. Genocide was not committed by only the uneducated. The educated also used their knowledge to kill.”

Advising the youth not to hold anything back in their pursuit of a better future for themselves and the nation, President Kagame pointed out that the young people should not have to carry the baggage of their elders and therefore have the opportunity to depart from the past and shape a new and better future:

“When you stand up against evil as some of you did today, do not do it halfway but with your all. Demand respect for your right to be who you choose to be, stand firm and proud of who you are. Do not waste any opportunity; we need each and every one of you.”

On the common destiny of Rwandans, President Kagame told the youth:

“We cannot survive as individuals; it is valuing each other and our differences that give each of us dignity. It is sad that humans are only 0.5% different and 99.5% similar but people prefer to look at the minor difference instead of capitalizing on the similarities.”

The First Lady, Jeanette Kagame told the youth that having a shared vision of building a better future for Rwanda is a responsibility for all Rwandans and that no one should make them believe that they are less than they are because of where they were born:

“You do not choose where you are born but you can determine who you will become. It is time for all of us to have a common understanding of our history. We stand against parents who continue to teach division ideology to their children. Let us build on peace, development and a culture of unity…that is the future we wish for you. We see endless possibilities in each of you. The Rwanda you stand in today is yours, building it is your responsibility.”

The youth from different Districts of the country also gave moving testimonies about their experiences as people growing up in a post-genocide Rwanda. The youth resolved to help others who are still held down by the complexities of the sad history of their country to overcome their fears and advance in life.