“Partnerships: A Common Denominator for Purposeful Agents of Transformation in Rwanda” was the Theme of the Session. Bill Gates once said this “Our success has been based on partnerships from the very beginning”. At a global level, no country can stand on its own to achieve national development plans and interests, that is why for instance, framers of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cautiously included partnerships as goal number 17- a key aspect to support countries to achieve SDGs 1 to 16. No country can stand the increasing demands of governance and development without entering into partnerships. 

Partnerships whether between two people or more, between two organizations or more, between two states or more bring some core advantages in tackling common issues and or issues of mutual concern: it results into increased resource base, combined talent, judgment and skills, diffusion of risks, flexibility and adaptability to conditions. In the case of taxes, it leads to a reduction in the tax rate. 

Individuals at family levels with various aspirations, ambitions, purposes are a form of formation on which nations are founded and built. Families shape the character of the young ones as they journey into adulthood. In the 21st Century, the character of the young ones should reflect the very values and aspirations of their country and better still the continent and of the global realities. One thing is certain: our youth should strive to become purposeful agents of transformation no matter how little one’s contribution is. The little contributions should be sustained at all costs. That is why the youth are advised to embrace partnership as a common denominator necessary in expanding the scope of their participation in self and community transformation. 

Agents of Transformation should understand the dynamics of the 21st Century are so demanding, changing, and challenging. The needs of this time are many and to achieve them, waste no time. A partnership is needed to achieve more. Although certain things could be done and archived at the individual level, partnerships would help in strengthening and widening the scope of development opportunities that may accrue. It also increases prospects of successful competition even in meeting market demands such as negations, increasing the supply of goods and services among others. 

In the context of Rwanda, over the past 26 years, Rwanda built internal and external partnerships focusing on meeting the development needs of the nation. At all levels, collaboration is a key aspect shaped on mutual interest, respect, and trust that resulted in the gains the country has made. Community participation in decision making and effecting such decisions into action to meet a collective objective is a solid example of a local partnership that the youth can learn from. The country also worked in partnership with other countries or organizations and individuals at the international level in meeting national interests. 

United we stand, divided we fall as a nation: Purposeful Agents of Transformation need to shape their growth characterized by the values of the community they live in. The value of unity, hard work, and integrity should be an inseparable aspect of a Purposeful Agent of Transformation. Partnerships should be built on consensus to achieve clear objectives, strong and acceptable characters, integrity, hard work, and a common destiny.  

Waste no time, embrace partnerships, and serve your community, and other Purposeful Agents of Transformation will learn from you.