Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

Rwanda: Itorero Trainers Learn About Regional Integration

The ministry of East African Community affairs (MINEAC) is training 90 trainers of itorero ry'igihugu on regional integration issues as a key component of the country's development which has to be included in what the participants in itorero ry'igihugu especially the youth has to be tipped on.

The 90 trainees are from 30 districts nationwide and are charged of youth and culture, good governance or itorero ry'igihugu programs at the district level.

Opening the one-day training, Nathan Gashayija, the director of economic, infrastructure productive unit at MINEAC told the itorero trainers that there are three reasons for the trainings. "The first is that we have to mainstream the EAC integration at all levels of leadership and include it in our EDPRS2 goals as well as in our districts' development plans. Specifically for you youth leaders and good governance officials, you must have integration-sensitive plans," said Gashayija.

He added that the second reason is that youth are central to speeding Rwanda's regional integration. "That's why we have to start with their leaders. We want that in any youth gathering, the EAC integration be discussed."

Thirdly, Gashayija said that youth as the key component of any society have to learn about the ongoing EAC integration. "Most of them are the ones involved in informal trade, they want to study in different higher learning institutes all over the region, etc. Briefly, they are among the key targeted beneficiaries of Rwanda's regional integration. Yet many still ignore such factors, this is why in youth gatherings like Itorero ry'igihugu, regional integration has to be among the key issues discussed."

The youth leaders and good governance officials at the district level were briefed on the current status of Rwanda's EAC integration since it entered the community five years ago. They discussed the customs union, the common market protocol, different EAC programs and projects, and issues concerning cross-border trade.

"Our youth have to think beyond borders and that will increase our chances of succeeding by investing in the region. They have to be regional citizens and increase their competitiveness. That won't be possible unless they are fully informed about EAC-related issues and programs, which is now your duty," Gashayija told the itorero trainers.

According to Salafina Flavia, the director of communication, information and education at MINEAC, the training is not only aimed at creating awareness, but also equipping the itorero trainers with the skills to train and discuss EAC integration issue with their trainees effectively.

"We have established a training module about EAC integration and we hope that after this training, participants, mainly the youth, will get to know about EAC integration deeply," stressed Salafina, adding that MINEAC will be updating and communicating with those district officials on a permanent basis.

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