Kigali 23 July 2015-- The United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, this week concluded a five day mission to Rwanda. The visit which was coordinated by UN-Habitat and its Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Aisa Kacyira focused on showcasing best practice programming for youth in urban areas as well as exploring possibilities for strengthened collaboration.
‘My visit to Rwanda is a celebratory one, a visit that seeks to highlight the successes achieved by Rwanda in working with and for its youth’ said Mr. Alhendawi at a welcome dinner hosted by the Minister of Youth and ICT, Mr. Jean Philbert Nsengimana. Rwanda is one of the African continent’s best performing countries in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, with youth and urbanization recognized as key components to the country’s development.
Highlighting the Government’s efforts in this area, the Envoy visited the UN-Habitat supported One Stop Youth Center in Kigali, which serves as a globally recognized best practice of youth centered programming in a rapidly urbanizing context. By invitation of the Minister of Youth and ICT, the Envoy also got to witness firsthand how youth are contributing to the country’s development at an umuganda event in Rubavu district close to the Democratic Republic of Congo Border.
Umuganda is a tradition derived from Rwandan culture where community members come together to work on a project that serves the community. Speaking to the hundreds of community members present, the Envoy underscored the opportunities that currently exist for Rwandan youth. ‘You are the luckiest generation of youth in Rwandan history. You have the opportunity to contribute to and achieve development for your country’, he said, echoing the strong emphasis the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has placed on youth as a resource for sustainable development.
Following on the country’s commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, partnerships are now being explored to ensure Rwanda’s experiences feed into the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as they relate to youth.
UN-Habitat will remain one of the Ministry of Youth and ICT’s key partners in this regard, adding to its continued support to the Kimisagara One Stop Youth Center in Kigali.