Kigali, 25 July 2014
President Kagame today closed the seventh Itorero program bringing together more than 250 Rwandan youth living abroad, which took place at the Gabiro School of Combat in Gatsibo District. In an interactive address, President Kagame told the youth to guard their identity jealously because this is what will guide them in whatever they do, wherever they may be in the world.
“Identity is about your education, your upbringing and the Rwandan values you are taught. No matter where you were born or where you choose to live today, you are Rwanda. Nothing stands in the way of staying true to yourself. No one should erase their identity and who they truly are. You must build on your identity because Rwanda belongs to you and you belong to your country. It is about your identity, knowing who you are and your values.”
President Kagame pointed out that all Rwandans are part of the same nation and family, and although people may have different abilities and backgrounds, no one is more Rwandan than the other.
“Identity is not an individual quality, it is a shared value. We all share an identity. Politics that does not build your identity or value our culture is bad politics. It is about appreciating the value in each other. The reason you are here and the meaning of Itorero is an education that values the identity and culture we all share. It is about building a nation that brings all of our strength together.”
President Kagame asked Rwandan youth to question what they live for and what they stand for because identity is the responsibility of knowing what one lives for and what they are willing to protect.
“Rwanda of tomorrow is yours. What will you stand for? What will you be willing to fight for and even die for? You must want to live for something. A shared identity does not mean that we are all the same. But we do not differ in wishing for the well being of every Rwandan and progress of our country.”
President Kagame told the Rwandan youth to take good care of themselves where they live in the respective countries around the world, and always endeavour to challenge themselves to be better than their best.
“By always challenging yourselves to be better people, you will be more useful to yourselves, your families and your country. Always think that you can be better. You can do it and you deserve it. But if it starts with you, it’s even much better. If you have the tools in your hands and if you want to improve your life, why would you wait another moment to do it?” Never expect things to come easy, because the chances are slim, and if it happens, it never lasts.”
During the question and answer session, President Kagame told the youth that what drives him to continue striving for development is mainly the lack of development in Rwanda and the urge to bring development. President Kagame also discussed integration, governance and other issues raised by the youth.