OPENING REMARKS FOR THE PEACE BUILDING AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION DIALOGUE
THE ROLE STUDENTS BY THE HON. MINISTER, MINEAC ON 18TH SEPT. 2014.
Students Leaders from Uganda and Rwanda
Allow me to express my gratitude to have been part of this Dialogue, through an interactive session with you, as East African young generation. I am immensely honored to welcome you all to Rwanda and to the Ministry of East African Community and also thank you for choosing to visit Rwanda.
The East African Community is a people centered community and the Youth including students constitute more than 63% of the entire EAC population. The youth also constitutes a big portion of the active population of the East African Community.
For the purpose of best experience sharing in peace building in Rwanda the following programs have been adopted by the Government of Rwanda to empower the youth and actively engage them in peace building and Socio-Economic development of the country. These include:
- Establishment of National Youth Council;
- Dedication of 2 seats for youth in the National Parliament;
- Establishment of National Itorero to discuss national values, country history, good governance, patriotism (civic education);
- Establishment of the Unity and reconciliation to spearhead the units and reconciliations activities among Rwandans after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Students and Youth in general are vital stakeholders in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In some cases, young people are directly involved in violent conflict. However, young people also act as community leaders in peacebuilding, reconciliation and post conflict reconstruction, in establishing themselves as the next generation of leaders.
The EAC Common Market Protocol provides the opportunities that need to be efficiently used by the students, for example students from Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda can use their students cards/ID and voters’ cards to travel to any of these three countries for any peaceful reasons.
The ongoing process of harmonization and mutual recognition of Academic and Professional qualifications, Harmonization of curricula, examinations, standards, certification, and accreditation of educational and training institutions, will enable the qualified and competent workers to find jobs in EAC region without any discrimination on ground of nationalities, as provided under the EAC Common Market Protocol.
The students should work hard for self-reliance (agaciro in Rwanda), to avoid dependence for self-esteem. They should also change their mind set, develop their home lands, drop the drain-brain, avoid any acts of enrollment in terrorism movements and consumption of drugs;
The students should promote good governance values and debate in developmental matters, avoid taking part to conflicts because they have nothing to gain from conflicts but rather lose everything. Students and youth in general must set up strong organizations advocating for peace policies and carry out public campaigns that are designed to bring young people out of conflicts.
Allow me to conclude these remarks by encouraging you to create and sustain a peaceful and enabling environment for business and cross-border movement of factors of production as inheritance for the future generations.
I thank you once again for this good initiative and for choosing this theme “Peace building and Regional Integration; the role of students” because without peace, EAC can’t develop and sustain.
I wish you very productive interactions and pleasant visit to Rwanda.