Politicians, Experts Meet At Rwakitura over Karamoja Resources

Museveni meeting experts and politicians at Rwakitura this week

President Kagame on Friday closed the seventh Itorero program bringing together more than 250 Rwandan youth living abroad, visit this site urging the youth

to be mindful of the consequences of underestimating the value of their dignity.

The function which took place at the Gabiro School of Combat in Gatsibo District saw Kagame, in an interactive address; tell the youth to guard their identity jealously because this is what will guide them in an all their activities wherever they may be in the world.

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“Identity is about your education, your upbringing and the Rwandan values you are taught. No matter where you were born or where you choose to live today, you are Rwandan,” said Kagame.

“Nothing stands in the way of staying true to yourself. No one should erase their identity and who they truly are. You must build on your identity because Rwanda belongs to you and you belong to your country. It is about your identity, knowing who you are and your values.”

Kagame interacting with one of the youth living in a foreign country

Kagame interacting with one of the youth living in a foreign country


President Kagame pointed out that all Rwandans are part of the same nation and family, and although people may have different abilities and backgrounds, no one is more Rwandan than the other.

“Identity is not an individual quality, it is a shared value. We all share an identity. Politics that does not build your identity or value our culture is bad politics. It is about appreciating the value in each other,” advised Kagame, adding, “The reason you are here and the meaning of Itorero is an education that values the identity and culture we all share. It is about building a nation that brings all of our strength together.”

President Kagame asked Rwandan youth to question what they live for and what they stand for because identity is the responsibility of knowing what one lives for and what they are willing to protect.

“Rwanda of tomorrow is yours. What will you stand for? What will you be willing to fight for and even die for? You must want to live for something. A shared identity does not mean that we are all the same. But we do not differ in wishing for the well being of every Rwandan and progress of our country.”

Observers say Kagame has been skilfully implementing programmes aimed at boosting Rwanda’s sel esteem especially at a time when the country is facing many challenges including external threats.

Rwabda youth in a dance with Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo

Rwabda youth in a dance with Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo

National identity is a person’s identity and sense of belonging to one state or to one nation, a feeling one shares with a group of people, regardless of one’s citizenship status.

Scholar Yoonmi Lee sees national identity in psychological terms as “an awareness of difference” – “a feeling and recognition of ‘we’ and ‘they.’

The national identity of most citizens of a state or nation tends to strengthen when the country or nation is threatened militarily, economically or culturally.

A sense of belonging to a nation may strengthen when an external threat becomes clearer, causing individuals to seek to unite with fellow-countrymen for mutual protection against the common threat.

An example is the development of Taiwanese identity (versus Chinese identity), which strengthened after the Republic of China (ROC) became known internationally as “Taiwan” after losing its UN Seat, and particularly starting in the late 1990s when it became clear that “China” (People’s Republic of China) threatens Taiwan militarily and to “conquer and unite” Taiwan, especially in the face of increased popular support for Taiwan independence and tries to affect Taiwan’s politics through “missile tests” and media rhetoric.

Although the official country name is “Republic of China” and its residents have been taught that their country is “China” and self-references in the educational system, text textbooks, and school public announcements refer to students as “we Chinese…” in the 1980s and 1990s, growing numbers of adults in the 2000s started identifying themselves as “Taiwanese” in the face of hostile Chinese stance and military threat in the 2000s and the Pan-Green Coalition’s promotion of Taiwanese identity.

Foreign countries


Some of the youth who participated in the Itorero session

Some of the youth who participated in the Itorero session

President Kagame told the Rwandan youth to take good care of themselves where they live in the respective countries around the world, and always endeavour to challenge themselves to be better than their best.

“By always challenging yourselves to be better people, you will be more useful to yourselves, your families and your country. Always think that you can be better. You can do it and you deserve it. But if it starts with you, it’s even much better,” said Kagame.

“If you have the tools in your hands and if you want to improve your life, why would you wait another moment to do it?” Never expect things to come easy, because the chances are slim, and if it happens, it never lasts.”

During the question and answer session, President Kagame told the youth that what drives him to continue striving for development is mainly the lack of development in Rwanda and the urge to bring development. President Kagame also discussed integration, governance and other issues raised by the youth.
President Yoweri Museveni has directed officials from Uganda Wild life Authority and those of National Forest Authority who carry out eviction exercises to stop harassing and destroying the property of Ugandans, click but to intensify sensitize programmes and ask them to leave prohibited areas peacefully.

“Just talk to people, the burning of peoples’ manyattas and destroying their property must stop. Anybody doing so will be held accountable, ” he warned.

The President made the directive this week while meeting leaders from Karamoja sub-region and members of the multi-disciplinary technical team who were presenting their report at his home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura district.

The team, led by the Director of NUSAF 2, Dr. Robert Limlim, was constituted by the Minister of Karamoja Affairs Mrs. Janet Museveni and comprised officials from NEMA, UWA, NFA, Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Members of Parliament and those from the Office of the Prime Minister.

The task of the team was to analyze land use rationalization between natural recourses conservation, settlement and agricultural development in Karamoja sub-region, following an outcry by communities in the region of harsh eviction by UWA from game reserves and demands to government to de-gazette some land under the protected areas.

President Museveni, who commended the multi-disciplinary technical and political team for the job well done, further urged leaders to sensitize and explain to the population living near or in the game parks the importance of conservation, as animals and forests are useful to human beings.

“The first point is to guide our people. It is not just conserving animals and forests as if you are doing them a favor. It is for survival. The population will fail to know that animals and forests are useful to human beings, for the good of the people. We will be remembered for what type of leadership we give our people. Don’t allow people to destroy catchment areas,” he stressed.

Mr. Museveni noted that the people of Karamoja sub-region were very lucky as they could, do agriculture and also benefit from tourism.

Earlier, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs Mrs. Janet Museveni noted that the peace and security the NRM government restored in the region, coupled with the drive to increase production for food security, led to the outward migration of communities to their previous homes or to new areas for agriculture.

She added that the general outcry from many communities in Karamoja on the activities of UWA especially in the PIAN-UPE game reserve, led to the constitution of Dr. Limlims’ team whose findings will help in the search of a lasting solution to the problem of rationalizing land use in Karamoja sub-region.

Leaders from Karamoja region accepted proposals and recommendations made by Dr. Limlims’ team except for the area of Loporokocho that requires further consultations in order to reach a win-win situation.

The recommendations mainly call for the expeditious rational distribution of land earlier de-gazetted in 2002, sensitization of the communities, and containment of existing settlements inside the reserves and discouragement of further encroachment.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Karamoja Affairs Ms. Oundo Nekessa, Daudi Migereko of Lands,Housing and Urban Development, Maria Mutagambwa of Tourism and Wild Life, Adolf Mwesigye of Local Government, Bright Rwamirama for Animal Industry, all the MPs, RDCs and LC 5 Chairpersons from Karamoja sub-region.


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