It was all smiles and pomp on the streets of Dallas, Texas, as over 700 Rwandan youths from across the United States and Canada flocked the Texas Christian University to meet President Paul Kagame to discuss Rwanda’s future. The event, dubbed ‘Rwanda Youth Forum’ is the first edition that is organized by Rwanda Embassy in United States.
Rwandan youths and their leaders are now discussing different issues that can shape Rwanda’s development vision. “When you meet Rwandan leaders especially President Kagame, you expect a dose of medicine that keeps you thinking about your country back home. Today is a rare opportunity for me,” said Mark Mihigo, a Rwandan youth living in USA.
Rwandan youths jubilantly wait for President Kagame to arrive at the event.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mushikiwabo told a jubilant crowd of youths that: “Rwanda considers much the role of youths in shaping the country.” For Elodie Shami, a Chicago-based Rwandan who is attending the event, “Rwanda has inspired people on a global level. From Burundi to Japan, they are curious to find out how we are doing IT.”
Meanwhile youths are asking leaders tough questions, ranging from employment, politics, economic prosperity, to social concerns.
The Ministry of Youths and ICT has set a booth to access information about job opportunities in Rwanda. It is showcasing career opportunities, match making job seekers with employers and providing resources for job seekers.
“If you want to come and work in Rwanda, the doors are open” Local Government Minister, Francis Kaboneka said. “We have a lot of opportunities in Rwanda.”
MInister Kaboneka told the youths that, “We want to understand where you need us and how we can support you…We want to make sure that wherever we are we stay connected to Rwanda…We want to understand where you need us and how we can support you”
Minister Mushikiwabo also made a presentation, preaching about Rwandan values to the jubilant youths. “Rwandan values have no borders,” she said. “We are who we are, irrespective of where we are.”
Earlier, multiple Rwandan artists, including King James and the Rwandan diva, Diana Teta stimulated the gathering, setting the room into emotional mode.
Patriotic songs are being sung in between the event as MCs command participants to chant patriotic slogans.