Rwandan youth gathering at the National YouthConnekt Convention yesterday were advised to be drivers of change and to not rely on anyone else's help for their welfare.
Under the theme "Self-reliance through innovation", 3,000 youth from 416 sectors and higher learning institutions countrywide gathered at the Amahoro mini-stadium to discuss how, as the fresh generation of the country they can contribute to national development and social welfare of the society.
"We as the youth, have solutions to most of the challenges that our country is facing. We can even find more through innovation," said Philibert Uwiringiyimana, the coordinator of the National Youth Council (NYC).
According to Rose Mary Mbabazi, the permanent secretary at the ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT), Rwanda wants to have a self-reliable youth.
"Rwanda is composed on 72 per cent of youth. You have to be agents of change and help our country move forward," she said.
MYICT's PS also advised the youth to have as core values ARISE (Accountability, Responsibility and Result, Integrity and Innovation, Sense of urgency, and Excellence).
"Where others are marching we have to run. We have to have a sense of urgency in everything we do, innovate and (re)invent new ways of doing things faster." She also added that the youth has to be a HAPPI (Happy, Aptitude & Attitude, Patriotism &Productive, and Innovators).
"Don't let the silly little dramas of each day get you down for you are here to do great things," the Mbabazi told the youth.
The Mayor of the Kigali city Fidele Ndayisaba, who was the chief guest, told the youth that it's in their duty to help brighten Rwanda's future.
"You have to catalyze our vision, goals and aims and help quicken our walk towards achieving them. We need your ideas to achieve the developmental growth we want. We also need innovations as ways of implementing and adopting those ideas," he said.
Ndayisaba told the youth that in order to create a better county, they have first to protect what has been achieved so far. "You have to always engage in the fight towards self-reliability, and be at the forefront for the whole country. Sponsors and other partners can only help you but you don't have to rely on them, you are the master of your own survival."