Kagame made the remarks on Friday 11th June 2021 at the Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College in Musanze District, as he officiated the 9th graduation ceremony of 47 students from the RDF and the Rwanda National Police.
Kagame told graduates that they are officers of the 21st Century where they will operate ’in volatile geopolitical and security environment as part of an ever more interconnected world and unequal as well’.
He reminded them that they have a major part to play in addressing different challenges facing the world.
“Therefore, adds another dimension of responsibility. How do we base on this knowledge and commitment; and even with limited resources, how can we raise ourselves to that level, where we feel we are equal with others,” noted Kagame.
“Raising ourselves to the level where we feel we are equal with others is loaded with many other things. It is also an issue of mindset. It’s an issue of choices we have made or we want to make going forward. Being equal shouldn’t be just words, it should be demonstrated in real life,” he added.
Kagame emphasized that everyone needs to work hard for Rwanda to achieve its aspirations to a desired extent.
“You have even gained more capabilities from this course, and therefore, more is expected from you. I hope you will step into your new roles with fresh insight and enthusiasm. There are important challenges that require your leadership as well as constant collaboration with other institutions. First, we must continue to consolidate the values of trust, consensus and the accountability that characterize our society and to which our defence and security institutions have always actively contributed,” he said.
Kagame told graduating officers that cooperation is paramount to address security matters and advised them against helping to deal with matters of security on one hand while contributing to creating insecurity on the other hand.
He pointed out an example where some people who graduated from the school run into problems of their own making, fled to partner countries and got involved in acts to destabilize national security.
“The same people run to countries called our partners, tell a lot of lies, they are welcomed. They turn around and get involved in acts that cause insecurity for the country. I am saying this because it has become a trend and doesn’t matter how much time you take to explain. It seems to go on and on with our partners,” noted Kagame.
“I am just telling our partners, don’t help on one hand to deal with problems of security meaning helping and building capabilities, development among other things and the same time give ground for insecurity to develop that will come and reverse what we have been building together,” he added.
Kagame also talked about complex global challenges including terrorism, pandemics, and natural disasters noting that no single country can provide durable solutions on its own without cooperation.
He urged graduates to look ahead and work with peers to address challenges.
“No single country can provide durable solutions on its own, no matter how big or well-resourced they are. You are therefore called upon to look ahead to assess threats and opportunities and collaborate with peers in the region and beyond in order to address them successfully,” stressed Kagame.
He reminded them of their duties to continue protecting Rwandans and Africans in general to usher them into a new era of achieving great more things.
“There is a battlefield beyond the physical one, where RDF must always be ready to protect Rwanda’s security and stability uncompromisingly. This is the struggle to instill the mindset amongst ourselves, that Rwandans and Africans areas equally deserving as others in terms of freedom, respect, and prosperity. We must be diligent in securing better lives for our people, and contributing to a better world for all,” noted Kagame.
Brig General Didas Ndahiro, the Commandant of Rwanda Defense Force Command and Staff College (RDFCSC) congratulated graduates and urged them to efficiently utilized acquired knowledge to deliver.
RDF Command and Staff College was established in 2012 to develop military professionalism.