23 December 2010

Rwanda: Youth Leadership Academy to Open Branch in Butare

The Youth Leadership Political Academy will, next year, open a branch in Butare, Huye District to facilitate the youth in the Southern Province acquire skills and knowledge in politics and leadership.

Marko Tomicic, the Resident Senior Programme Manager of National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) Rwanda, revealed this yesterday in an interview.

"We will keep the Kigali branch operational but we will open one more branch (Butare). We want to make the academy a ruling one because we believe that Rwanda's politics is not only in the capital but also in the countryside," Tomicic said.

NDI, a USA based NGO, with 35 years of experience in the field of democratization and youth leadership, joined forces with the Consultative Forum for Political Organisations in an effort to build the capacity of political parties in Rwanda.

The academy was established in February, 2010 to build the organizational and management skills of youth to contribute to political party development, promote informed young political leaders capable of training, supporting and aspiring within their party ranks.

It also supports the Forum's long-term vision for a permanent Party Youth Academy.

40 students graduated in the pilot phase, with four from each of the ten registered political parties, and Tomicic said that they intend to increase the number of the youth enrolling in the academy.

Tomicic was speaking shortly after meeting with the first batch of graduates where he presented the programmes of the academy, and the enrolment of the next batch at the Forum's headquarters in Kacyiru.

The meeting aimed at bringing together the first generation of the academy and trainers to give their views on how effectively the academy can be improved.

Zephyrin Jijuka, the Director of Programmes in the Forum, said that "we are trying to see how this programme (academy) can be sustainable for each year to have two promotions."

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