Why should Rwanda Matter to her Youth?- Dr. Kimonyo

The UR’s Huye Campus translation room welcomed, on Friday, January 10th, 2020, a community of engaged youths, who hanging on the lips of the main speaker Jean-Paul Kimonyo, were opportuned to look into the opportunities and threats of the post-genocide Rwanda and acknowledge their obligations towards their presently transforming country.

It was at the event that Dr. Jean Paul Kimonyo presented his book “Transforming Rwanda” which provides an estimable insight into Rwanda’s transformation. It features challenges faced by Rwanda post genocide and tackles difficulties encountered by Rwanda Patriotic Front in the reconstruction process,
Kimonyo is a strategy and policy advisor to the President of Rwanda and author of two books: “Transform Rwanda” and “Rwanda: Un génocide populaire’ published in 2008.

Dr Jean-Paul Kimonyo, author of “Transforming Rwanda.” Photo: Mukama Kenny Christian

Supervising lecturer of The Kaminuza Star and brain behind ceremony, Yann Gwet, was on the stand to open the event. In his words, the event aimed to ‘‘provide a platform for informed, rational and intelligent discussions.”
“Few students read books, which to a large extent means that few students are equipped to fully understand and contribute to solving the challenges that their country and their continent face. So by providing them with the opportunity to exchange with thinkers, there is an expectation that the project encourages them to engage with the world, and contribute to the betterment of their country” he told Kaminuza Star.

In the introductory lines of his talk, Dr. Kimonyo traced back to the dilemma Rwanda faced in the past.
“Rwanda was a failed state before the war and genocide. Rwanda’s youths have a responsibility to seize the opportunities presented by the post-genocide reconstruction; progress in social cohesion, political and economic stability. They ought to look beyond the threats of Rwanda’s present environment; time-consuming change in political culture, high economic expectations, eternal and regional threats, international genocide revisionism and divided diasporas, and strive to complete Rwanda’s social, economic and political transformation,” he presented.

Dr. Jean-Paul Kimonyo’s latest book. Photo: Uwayo  Rémy

In an interview by the members of the team, Dr. Kimonyo revealed he wrote his book with the Rwandan youth in mind. “This then leads us to the question: will the next generation also have transformational ambitions?’’ he asks participants.

Faridi Muhawenimana a journalism student who attended the event after hearing Dr. Kimonyo’s presentation as a guest lecture in journalism class, answers Kimonyo’s question that “youths are at the core of sustainable development of Rwanda and are therefore ready to take the lead.”

Closing remarks by the Kaminuza Star’s Editor in Chief came shortly after an engaging question and answer session. The JPkimonyo Event was to the youths present, a unique moment of sharing and enlightenment. They returned home challenged to consider the nature of their political culture. Will it be defined by a strong intention to maintain national peace and unity and to prioritize the ongoing socio-economic transformation?

Listen to the Kaminuza Star podcast: The interview with Dr Jean-Paul Kimonyo.