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Running With Industrious Young Africans

Running With Industrious Young Africans

I was sipping my favorite aromatic beverage on the verandah of Café Camellia, set up on the first floor of the newly-refurbished KBC building.

I am a villager and, I have to admit, I am not used to the bright lights of the city. That explains why I couldn’t stop marveling at the Kigali Convention Center, Radisson Blu, Kigali Heights and other imposing landmarks.

Thousands of young people from across the continent were gathering at the KBC round about. They were converging there to participate in an event dubbed Kigali Night Run.

Being an old villager, I haven’t been keeping up with the newest urban trends. No wonder I couldn’t stop staring at the youngsters donning the latest sports apparel. Brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour were predominant. I also spotted our very own Impano logo here and there. This is an encouraging sign to local entrepreneurs.

The youngsters in question are participants of the ongoing Youth Connekt Summit. This year’s edition goes by the theme "Boosting Industrious Young Africa." It is uplifting to see some delegates walking the talk by supporting industrious Africans who dare to challenge the giants in the market.

The three-day summit is addressing key issues affecting young Africans. These include job creation, turning passion into profit and bridging the gender divide. Pursuing opportunities in the digital economy is also on the agenda.

As I kept admiring the bright lights of the city and gazing at the diverse crowd, a little commotion ensued. Participants were scrambling for an opportunity to take selfies with the Ivorian soccer legend, and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Didier Drogba.

When the run was underway, I left Camellia and joined the party. Like it is the case during the car-free days, motorists were kept off the designated routes.

Most participants were strolling easily while having relaxed conversations. I joined a well organized group of runners and ran at their pace. We moved as a single unit while singing motivational songs. Our steps were coordinated. There was chemistry in my group. Did I say my group? Seems like the villager blended in just fine.

The author is an adventurer on a mission to discover what Rwanda has to offer. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on Twitter @GeoExposure

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