President Paul Kagame yesterday paid tribute to Mandela’s legacy and reminded young people across the continent of their ability to transform the continent.
Kagame was speaking yesterday in Soweto, South Africa at the Global Citizen Festival – Mandela 100, held to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.
The concert, attended by young people from across the world as well as world leaders, was themed around key continental goals such as improving nutrition, improving access to education, creating prosperity among other aspects.
Calling on their increased involvement, President Kagame told the young people that the continent and the African Union belongs to all.
“The African Union belongs to all of us. That is why we are working hard to make the African Union stronger and more effective. We need Africa’s young people to be fierce advocates for these goals. You are so well represented tonight here in Soweto, and you make us proud. Together, we can build the Africa we want,” he said.
He called on the youth to borrow leaf from former South African President Nelson Mandela by not giving up on the continent.
Among the aspects he challenged young people to give attention to include improving nutrition, eliminating preventable diseases, improving agriculture and job creation.
“He (Mandela) never gave up on Africa. He believed that Africa’s children can achieve anything. It is our responsibility to continue building on his legacy. We must commit to ensuring good nutrition for our children, and eliminating the preventable diseases that threaten Africa’s potential,” he said.
“As Africans, we also want to move freely around our continent, do business with each other, and build friendships across borders,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Kagame attended a Sustainable Development Goals reception hosted by Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.
Speaking at the reception, Kagame welcomed the increased networks and synergies in support of SDGs.
Going forward, he called on countries to build capacity to generate revenues domestically to entrench a sense of ownership of the SDGs and reduce dependence on ever scarce funding.