The New Times (Kigali)

14 January 2013

Rwanda: Peace Building Forum Ends On High Note

The Peace Building Institute forum on Friday ended on high note with a call for the youth to lead the reconciliation process in further rebuilding and developing the nation.

The forum, organised by Never Again Rwanda, aims at giving a chance to other nations around the World to learn from Rwanda's experience, given the country's dark past and how it has taken on the journey to development.

This year's forum attracted participants from the US, South Africa, Dominican Republic and Hongkong.

"As youth in your respective countries, it is also your role and responsibility to coordinate with governments and utilise the available opportunities as provided to build peaceful nations," said Dr Felicien Usengumukiza, the deputy CEO of Rwanda Governance Board.

He made the remarks during a meeting that brought together participants of the forum with members of Never Again Rwanda, a local youth human rights and peace-building association formed to respond to the effects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

During the meeting, Usengumukiza highlighted mechanisms the government has put in place to ensure good governance.

"We have introduced the nine and 12 Year Basic Education; and currently we have 46 universities and this is a big step towards building a knowledge-based economy through human resource development and youth empowerment," he said.

Usengumukiza said unlike before, steps are taken to give the people equal opportunity.

Participants share experiences

Speaking to The New Times, Yuki Davis from Brown University on Rhode Island, US, said the visit has impacted on his outlook a great deal.

"We have visited many areas in this country, but I am sure that what I saw and what I have to tell when I get back is news and education that will spread and change what many think and have always heard about Rwanda," said Davis.

Among other places, the students visited the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and the Parliament, where they interacted with the Senate president Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo.

During their visit to Parliament, Ntawukuriryayo briefed them on the country's governance system and fielded questions on governance from the participants that left many impressed.

Eric Mahoro Uwitonze, the programmes director at Never Again Rwanda, said his organisation will continue to organise similar forums based on need and importance.

"We have been receiving positive responses from students who come and we are sure that we are achieving our mission," he said.

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