It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to Rwanda, and to the 5th edition of YouthConnekt Africa.
Before I proceed, I want to thank again the Heads of State who joined us virtually: The president of Senegal, our chair of the African Union, the president of Namibia, all who joined us for this Summit.
Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, I wanted to thank you and please extend my thanks to my brother President William Ruto, the President of the Republic of Kenya.
I want to thank you for joining us in person, Deputy President, and thank the members of your delegation also for being with us.
As for the final request you make, I think with your remarks, everybody around seemed to be persuaded. I can speak on my own behalf, but also I guess on behalf of others. So, you might see us in Nairobi in bigger numbers than there are here. Looking forward to that.
It has already been ten years, since this important forum was launched, right here in Rwanda.
YouthConnekt has become a powerhouse, bringing together thousands of young people every year, to contribute solutions, and learn from each other.
I thank all partners and friends for being part of this journey, from the beginning, with particular recognition of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
A big thank you goes to every young person in this room.
With your insights and innovations, you are leading the way for a more resilient Africa.
YouthConnekt helps us to tell these success stories, get to know each other better, and build solidarity.
Africa is not a ‘continent of problems’. Not at all. Yes, there are problems, but where don’t you find problems? The world over, there are problems. So we have to deal with our own problems, but we are not a continent of problems.
At least, we must also, and as leaders, do our part to recognize that young people are equal partners in our development agenda.
We know you have ideas on how to trade more effectively, build stronger health systems, combat climate change, reduce inequality, and much more.
We therefore have a duty to listen to you, and work with you.
I think the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya said much to that.
Allow me to leave with you with this piece of advice.
Hard work, even if it is smart work as well, without purpose, is not fulfilling. Therefore, we must also bear in mind the purpose, who we are, what we want to be, where we want to go, and all that driven in our minds by having a purpose.
May I add that, with that purpose, you can add a little bit of discipline. Discipline guides us, measures and lets us know the excesses we have to deal with, whether personally or at the level of society.
Have you ever heard anywhere, anybody, complaining about having a bit of discipline?
Have you ever heard of anybody who lost this or that because of discipline?
So, let’s try it a little bit in our daily lives. It will serve us well. It helps people think, put value to every step of their way. It guides us in the right direction. Whether it is politics, is a bit of discipline. Whichever part of life, it should involve a bit of that. Of course, everything in excess has its own problems.
So again, I’m saying, just try even with a little bit, and we will be where we want to be.
Twenty-eight years ago, when Rwanda was at its lowest point, our country and people dared to dream big, to give ourselves something to look forward to, every day.
We worked hard, and worked together, to overcome division, provide justice, and build prosperity.
For the past two decades, this vision has become Rwanda’s purpose, and the reason for everything that we do.
I always want to thank the people of Rwanda for their understanding and embracing these principles that have taken us this far.
Whatever your purpose, do not get discouraged by doubts. Begin by not doubting yourself. Try to overcome that, and ultimately, you, your family, your country, and our continent, will be better off for it.
Once again, I want to thank you for being with us. I wish you a successful summit and an enjoyable stay in Rwanda and thank again those people who joined us from outside, in person or virtually.
We are looking forward to an even more productive summit, next time.
Thank you for listening and I am looking very much forward to our interaction in a few moments.
Wish you all the best.