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By Louis MUTEL

Why Rwanda chose to ‘think big’

President Paul Kagame challenged youth representatives of not being contented with just being young, but rather use their youth to prepare a better tomorrow.

President Paul Kagame met thousands of youth representatives in a session dubbed “Meet the President” in 2016, where he challenged them of not being contented with just being young, but rather use their youth to prepare a better tomorrow.

“They called us a small failed state. But we refused to fail. We refused to be small. We are not small. Choosing not to be small has a price. You will have to spend sleepless nights; work hard and nobody will thank you for that. I am asking you to make one clear choice… being big is where we belong,” he told the youth.

The president also advised the youth to commit to take ownership of transforming the country.

“The moment you believe that you are better off being taught who you should be, you have lost your worth and your dignity. We want to see you strive to learn, to contribute (and) to play your part in this country because it belongs to you. You must be committed to investing in yourself and to playing your part”

The President emphasized that youth should not take being youth for granted but instead  strive to learn, contribute and play a part in the country’s development as it belongs to them.

The President emphasized that youth should not take being youth for granted but instead  strive to learn, contribute and play a part in the country’s development as it belongs to them.

President Paul Kagame has reminded the youth of the importance of having the right mindset and building the right character and identity.

The President was  addressing over 2,500 youths attending the sixth edition of the YouthConnekt Convention at Intare Conference Arena in Rusororo Sector, Gasabo District in 2018.

Kagame reminded the youth that their future is in their hands and pledged to continue providing the resources and environment for them to exploit their potential and be better citizens and future leaders.

“This means your education, the schools you attend; everything we provide is aimed at giving you the skills you need to lead this country,” he said.

The President pointed out that education begins with the family and also means being raised with the right values, and building character and an identity.

“Your education and values you represent are not just a reflection of you; it is a reflection of what the country stands for,” he told the young men and women.

“We want to build a country with the right values and character,” Kagame added.

 “However, as we stand here, the goal is to transform this country, change the wrong that used to define us and build the kind of unity that will define us for future generations,” he said.

Think big

President Kagame challenged the youth to think big in all they strive to do.

The President reminded them to be selfless in whatever they do, consider the well-being of their families, communities and country at large.

He went on to encourage them not to shy away from doing business, saying that being an entrepreneur does not have any threshold for age or gender.

“Start early and think of ideas. Entrepreneurship should not be a last resort after one has failed to get a monthly salary job,” the President said.

The Head of State also took time to explain what defines Rwanda today, saying that among the nation’s priorities are unity and working together to build a country that is defined by strong values and character.

“Our goals and ambitions must spread beyond our geographical size,” he added.

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