President Paul Kagame yesterday visited Huye where he addressed over 10,000 students and residents.
Speaking at the University of Rwanda campus in Huye, President Kagame called on students to use their education towards Rwanda’s long overdue self reliance:
“We must keep asking ourselves how we are using education to transform lives and in how much time. An education that does not transform your life or the life of others is a wasted education.”
Pointing to the stagnation Africa has faced for over six decades following the independence, President Kagame challenged students to change the conventional mindset and approach to development:
“For fifty years, they have been telling us about poverty reduction. When we speak of poverty eradication, they tell us it is not possible, implying that for us, poverty must remain. For fifty years, the methods of development have been the same and we have seen no change. We must change the methods and the mindset.”
“Our universities should be teaching that Rwandans deserve better than being beggars and living off the wealth of others. Some of those who give us aid today were where we were 60 years ago. But they used their history to transform their nation. We were all created with equal abilities. There is nothing we are missing to transform our nation. Transformation is up to each and every one of you. There is no shortcut,” President Kagame added.
Urging students to have a critical mind, President Kagame cautioned against accepting ill-defined and politically manipulated concepts:
“Human rights should be about our context and our right to be who we want to be. Everything that we choose to do should be about who we are and our aspirations as a nation.”
On the issue of regional security, President Kagame guaranteed that Rwanda will continue to ensure the security of all citizens:
“FDLR will never succeed in destabilizing our nation. They failed 21 years ago and they will never succeed,” President Kagame said, responding to a former member of FDLR who is now studying at the University of Rwanda, Huye Campus, benefiting from a government scholarship.
President Kagame ended the meeting with an interactive session with students who shared challenges including student housing and disbursement of funds for scholarships.
President Kagame concluded by telling students that in the years ahead Rwanda will be able to face every challenge:
“When you have the right foundation, no challenge is insurmountable.”