18th  – 19th December 2017

1. Background

Umushyikirano is a forum for national dialogue provided for by the Constitution where Rwandans gather to assess issues related to the state of the nation, functioning of the decentralized structures, and national unity.

Over the past 15 years, Umushyikirano has made important contributions to national building. Transformational ideas that have come out of Umushyikirano include Umwalimu SACCO, Abunzi (mediation committees) and Girinka.

This year’s Umushyikirano convenes at the beginning of a new seven-year Presidential mandate. It also takes place following elaboration of the Seven-Year Government Program (National Strategy for Transformation), a plan focused on improvement of the quality of life of Rwandans.

2. Discussion Topics

Topic 1: National Strategy for Transformation

During the 14th National Umushyikirano Council, a draft of Vision 2050 was presented that highlighted the strategic direction to guide future medium and long-term strategic planning. The National Strategy for Transformation reinforces Rwandan’s choices over the last decade, builds on lessons learnt and anticipates future challenges. The plan will broaden and deepen the process of transformation by elevating the quality of life for Rwandans.

This session will present a snapshot of where Rwanda is headed over the next several years. There will be in-depth discussions on shared goals and ambitions including reflection of programs such as universal access to quality healthcare, improved nutrition, education, employment, sustained security, modern housing and settlements.

Topic 2: Values for Prosperity

The National Strategy for Transformation hinges on values that promote economic and social progress, including self-reliance and self-determination, dignity, unity and Rwandan identity, community participation, transparency and openness, as well as innovation and national stability. Also needed is a common understanding of what is required to maximize early human development efforts as anchored in the Early Childhood Development Program. This includes values that promote issues such as hygiene and nutrition.

Topic 3: Youth at the Center of Transformation

Young Rwandans between 16-30 years old represent 27% of the population while those between 0-15 years represent 42%. Rwanda’s youth are tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, active citizens and leaders. Equipping and engaging young people effectively to accelerate growth and create prosperity is key to achieving transformation.

The economic contribution of young Rwandans will depend on the skills they posses to compete in the labor market and participate in Rwanda’s transformational agenda. For this to happen, young people must be able to access quality education and employment opportunities.

Patriotism and active involvement in nation building, including political awareness and participation, are critical elements in nurturing the mindset and shared vision for transformation, and safeguarding the gains Rwanda has registered in recent years. Also important is better understanding of regional, continental and international politics and their implications for Rwanda.

Young people will lead this panel discussion. Expected outcomes include; common understanding of young people’s skills and capacities to actively participate in leadership roles, awareness of interventions required to create jobs and drive youth employment.

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