Home NewsNational “A Trailblazer”: President Kagame Hails ALU For Nurturing The Next Generation Of African Leaders

“A Trailblazer”: President Kagame Hails ALU For Nurturing The Next Generation Of African Leaders

by Edmund Kagire
3:01 pm

President Kagame joins ALU founder and chairman, Fred Swaniker, faculty, stuff and best-performing graduates for a group photo/Village Urugwiro.

President Paul Kagame says the African Leadership University (ALU) has grown to become one of the best education institutions on the continent, hailing its founders for their relentless efforts to nurture the next generation of leaders who will transform Africa.

The Head of State made the observation on Friday while officiating the graduation of 431 students -the biggest cohort of students since its establishment in Rwanda in 2015, recognising the founder and chairman Fred Swaniker, for spearheading efforts to set up the Bumbogo-based university.

President Kagame said that he was pleased to see the results of the university, which he played a pivotal role in establishing, particularly thanking Swaniker for his role, reiterating that Rwanda is proud to host ALU.

To the graduates, President Kagame said that by graduating, they reaped the benefits of their years of hard work and  that they should be proud of what they had achieved.

“Be proud of everything you have accomplished. You deserve,” he said, equally congratulating the families, friends and relatives for supporting them to the point of graduating.

“Success is never the result of individual effort alone. Equally important is having a good support system,” he said, urging the over 400 graduates from 32 different African countries to go and be the difference the world wants to see.

President Kagame commended the founders of ALU for a job well done.

The Head of State pointed out that doors are open for even more African youth to come and acquire education from the university, whose moniker is to nurture young Africans to “do hard things”.

“We are even more privileged to welcome a large number of students from all over our continent. You’re welcome here and you always have a second home in Rwanda,” he said.

Prior to addressing the graduation ceremony, President Kagame took a tour of the ALU Campus located in Bumbogo sector, Gasabo district, taking note of the beautiful infrastructure and environment around the university which does not follow the conventional education curriculums.

“This one of a kind institution is a reminder to all of us that in Africa we have the means to solve our problems. The uncomfortable truth is that we rely too much on others to tell us what to do and more often than not we pay a hefty price as a consequence,”

“We need to take responsibility for what belongs to us and have a sense of urgency in doing so. It all begins with how we teach our children and shape their mindsets and a sense of ownership for Africa’s future,” he said.

“ALU is a trailblazer because it has invested in building a new generation of critical thinkers and innovators here on our continent. Graduates, the Baton is now in your hands. Run with it as fast as you can until you cross the finish line. No matter your career path, the journey would be long and full of unexpected twists and turns,”

President Kagame congratulates one of the best performing graduates.

“My advice to you is not to let life’s obstacles change who you are or cause you to give up. Never give up. Be kind and always treat others with respect, the way you wish them to treat you,” President Kagame said as he passed on parental advice to the exuberant celebrants.

President Kagame urged the graduating students to learn from Rwanda’s history, a country which was devastated by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi but managed to pick up the pieces and be where it is today.

“Here in Rwanda we had to learn the hard way. There was no case study for how to recover from Genocide. We had to take matters into our own hands. The results did not come immediately and in fact they never do for those of you who aspire to become entrepreneurs,”

“This is something to remember. We kept trying and we found solutions that worked for our country. Always try and fail but never fail to try,”

“You always have to be ready to adapt and to  innovate. What matters at the end of the day is that you believe in yourself and be consistent with perseverance and hard work. You’ll achieve whatever you want to in life,” emphasizing it with a Rwandan proverb that says that ‘the best lies ahead’.

A total of 431 students graduated in different disciplines.

On his part, Swaniker thanked President Kagame for his role in establishing the university, not only buying into the idea when it was sold to him, but also offering land where the campus sits today, and continuously supporting efforts to scale the idea even further.

President was recognised by the university, which recognised him with an award and sash for his contribution towards setting up the institution which has since grown to cut its name onto the list of one of the very best on the continent.

Swaniker pointed out that President Kagame embodies their tagline ‘do hard things’, given the work he has done to transform Rwanda and showing leadership amidst difficulties.

The Ghanaian-born investor and entrepreneur pointed out that doing hard things doesn’t require just resources but rather the commitment and guts to dig deeper and find solutions to the most challenging of problems the African society faces today.

It was joy and excitement at the ALU 4th graduation.

President Kagame officially unveiled the Bumbogo-based ALU campus.

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