There is a need for behavioral change of local leaders towards youth

By Eric Birori

Freddy Muvandimwe is the youth coordinator in the Huye district. He calls upon local leaders who have a tendency to exclude youth in the decision making processes to believe in the youth contributing to the development of their communities.

“Some local leaders marginalize the role of the youth. They often consider them to be dependents who don’t have any vision or ideas to contribute in decision making processes. It is not enough for us young people to believe in ourselves. Society and local leaders must believe in us too because we are the driving force of positive change” he said.

According to Freddy, local leaders should change their attitudes and abide by Rwanda’s youth policy, which shows the right direction of the youth sector in relation to a number of guidelines and orientations that have since emerged in the Sector.

“Some of the leaders neglect young people, saying they are too busy in trying to achieve their targets and performance contracts. But they need to remember that what they are doing will be maintained by the youth in the future” he added.

In his view, this issue is very dynamic because, at the central level, there is an understanding of the role of the youth in decision making, while at the local level cases of young people being excluded are still rampant.

“At the central level, they understand youth. We believe that our voice will be heard because we are not planning to stop our struggle. These leaders will change in time or time will tell that the youth need to be involved in decision-making processes”. He added

Freddy concluded that local leaders should understand the natural fundamentals of successions of generations in every leadership but it is the responsibility of the youth to make them understand through their actions.

In certain countries, youth claim their rights by demonstrating through violent means but Freddy says, in Rwandan culture, everyone claims their rights through dialogue and peaceful means.

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