Kagame gave the advice yesterday as he attended the opening of this year’s Youth Connekt Africa.
Held from 9th to 11th October 2019 at the Kigali Arena, the summit brought together over 10,000 young people from 91 countries from African continent and beyond like Khazaksan, Mexico among others.
It is also attended by over high level delegates including 20 ministers from African countries, entrepreneurs, representatives of international organizations among to engage, discuss, design and accelerate youth empowerment efforts at continent level under the theme ‘Boosting an industrious Young Africa.’
It is also graced by Ivorian veteran footballer Didier Drogba, African Union Commission envoys, representatives of organizations affiliated to the United Nations among others.
Youth Connect Africa is an annual summit bringing together Youth across Africa to discuss and draw strategies to transform Africa. The summit also seeks to discuss the creation of opportunities in agriculture, technology, developing their talents and promoting African continent.
As he addressed participants, President Kagame told the youth that the Government has a big role to create a conducive environment so that people with talent excel but reminded them of their role to tap into available opportunities to grow themselves.
“Opportunity does not go to people’s homes knocking at the doors and say hello do you need me? People need to go knocking on opportunity’s door, you open and say hello and the opportunity will actually say; I am here what do you want?” he said.
“But if you don’t go, if you don’t make an effort you’ll miss that opportunity. If you sit and think you will see opportunity passing by and saying hello to you and say I was actually waiting for you. No, go out and look for it. Sometimes you fight for it. Sometimes it leaves you with bruises, but go out and look for it don’t let it pass by while you’re sitting and wait for it to say hello.,” added Kagame.
Kagame encouraged the youth to walk together if they are to go far, faster.
The Minister of Youth, Rosemary Mbabazi said the summit aims at engaging with the youth on ways to tap into available opportunities to address the issue of unemployment among African youth.
Youth Connect started in 2012 as Rwanda’s initiative to empower youth and later changed to Youth Connect Africa in 2015.
In 2017, Youth Connect Africa was graced by international superstar Akon and last year, one of the Asian leading entrepreneurs Jack Ma was among the main
Today, 180 of 600 incubated entrepreneurs were awarded. The initiative has also unleashed potential of 8000 youth to create own jobs.