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The 2023 Rwanda Youth Convention: A Catalyst for Youth Empowerment and National Development

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In a stirring address at The 2023 Rwanda Youth Convention held in Ottawa and Gatineau, Canada, Ambassador Prosper Higiro, the representative of Rwanda in Canada, set the tone by warmly welcoming the participants. He underscored the pivotal role that the youth play in shaping the nation’s destiny, emphasizing the importance of understanding Rwanda’s history as a foundation for their contribution to its future.

Ambassador Higiro acknowledged the unprecedented opportunities and resources available to today’s youth, contrasting it with his own experiences in 1994 when he joined the Government in the aftermath of the genocide against the Tutsis. Drawing parallels between the youth of today and the leaders of that time, he highlighted the crucial difference— the abundance of opportunities and knowledge that today’s youth enjoy.

“In 1994, I had the chance to join the Government following the genocide against the Tutsis. Back then, most of the leaders were much like you. The only difference was that we lacked the opportunities and knowledge that you enjoy today,” Ambassador Higiro reflected, urging the young audience to recognize and leverage their unique advantages.

Gashirabake Moses, one of the founders of the International Rwandan Youth for Development, added depth to the discourse by shedding light on the significant attention the Rwandan Government accords to its young population. Moses exemplified this support by citing the involvement of Rwandan Embassies in the countries where the youth reside and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He likened this support to a nurturing parental role, emphasizing that the government is akin to “what a parent gives to their child.”

This analogy serves to convey the idea that the government sees itself as a guiding force, providing support, ideas, and a conducive environment for the youth to thrive and contribute to the development of Rwanda. The commitment of both Ambassador Prosper Higiro and Gashirabake Moses, as representatives of the government and the youth organization, respectively, demonstrates a shared vision for harnessing the potential of the youth in building a prosperous Rwanda. 

It is clear that the collaboration between the government, youth organizations, and the Rwandan diaspora is a powerful force driving the narrative of progress and development for the nation.

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