Rwandan Youth in North America Gather in Ottawa to Redefine Development Roles at #RYCNA2023 – 2,000+ Strong! 📸

The recently concluded Rwanda Youth Convention – North America, held in Ottawa-Gatineau from November 25-26, 2023, brought together enthusiastic young minds and leaders from across North America and Rwanda. This dynamic event centered around inspiration, empowerment, and fostering connections through two days filled with engaging discussions and activities.

The convention’s primary focus was to involve Rwandan youth living abroad in conversations about their pivotal role in Rwanda’s socio-economic development and the evolving identity of Rwandans today.

One of the standout features of the convention was its diverse panel sessions, delving into various themes, including demystifying entertainment and sports business. Eminent speakers like Uwamahoro Jean Pierre (former volleyball player), The Ben (Artist), Intore Masamba (artist), and Ally Soudi (journalist) contributed their insights. Additionally, the event encompassed discussions on crucial topics such as mental health, intergenerational dialogue, and mapping the North American diaspora.

Esteemed figures such as Désiré Rumanyika, Chief Digital and Retail Officer of Bank of Kigali, Moses Gashirabake (Co-founder, IRYD Canada), Jaurès Habineza (Co-founder, IRYD Canada), Ambassador Prosper Higiro (High Commissioner of Rwanda to Canada), Her Excellency Mathilde Mukantabana, Patrick Rubayiza (President, CARY Ottawa), along with Kizito Musabimana (Founder and Executive Director, Rwanda Canadian Healing Centre, Toronto), and Canadian Member of Parliament Arielle Kayabaga, extended their support and appreciation for the initiative. They emphasized the importance of youth understanding their heritage as a pathway to a more promising future.

This annual convention, organized by the International Rwanda Youth for Development (IRYD) in collaboration with Rwandan communities abroad, aimed to foster the growth, potential, and unity of Rwandan youth on a global scale. Notably, it received backing and active involvement from Rwandan officials, including the High Commissioner of Rwanda to Canada and the Ambassador of Rwanda to the US, reaffirming their commitment to empowering the youth for Rwanda’s progress.

Despite a brief hiatus in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention resurged with a comprehensive array of topics, indicating a holistic approach to address crucial facets of youth development and engagement. It also showcased beautiful cultural displays through dance, adding vibrancy to the event.

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