ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

Remember the past, invest in Young People and Children for a better Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda: As the world pauses to commemorate the 20thanniversary of the genocide of against the Tutsis, ActionAid Rwanda points out that while it is important not to forget the appalling atrocities committed 20 years ago, it is equally important for the Rwandan government to look to the future by investing in its children and young people.


Rwanda has a very young population. The average age is 19 and two-thirds of Rwandans are under 25.

ActionAid country director, Josephine Uwamariya said:

“While Rwanda’s young people recognise the unbearable effects of the genocide, they also believe that they are part of a united Rwanda. They do not distinguish between previous societal differences based on Tutsi, Hutu and Twa groupings.

“This is Rwanda’s greatest success story.  But to make this belief of a united Rwanda a reality, post-genocide generations must get the support they need to protect their rights and continue to work their way out of poverty and other forms of injustice.

“This includes ensuring the means to earn a decent living with access to food and shelter, the provision of good quality public education and health care, and most importantly freedom from any form of violence.

“Rwanda’s future depends on its young people.”

Ms Uwamariya commended the huge strides Rwanda has made in the last two decades. In 1994, Rwanda was totally shattered. The country’s entire socio-economic and political fabric had been destroyed.

Today, annual growth regularly exceeds five percent and the number of people living in poverty has drastically fallen. Aid as a percentage of government spending has dropped from 85 percent in 2000 to 40 percent in 2013.

 “While much has been achieved, it is now important to reinvigorate a commitment to those young people and their families who live in the direst poverty.

“In particular, it is important to uphold the rights of girls and women who are worst affected by poverty, including the genocide survivors who were left to bear the burden of a devastated society.

 “That can only be done by harnessing the power in women and girls to demand that their basic rights and needs are met,” said Ms Uwamariya.

In Rwanda, ActionAid works with communities that find it difficult to claim the basic services to which they are entitled. ActionAid concentrates on grassroots development, building alliances to promote women’s rights and to hold local authorities to account for their actions.


For more information or interviews with Josephine Uwamariya contact:

In Rwanda: Sulah Nuwamanya, +250 730176519 or


ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to achieve greater human rights for all and defeat poverty. We believe people in poverty have the power within them to create change for themselves, their families and communities. ActionAid is a catalyst for that change