At 32, Dr. Landry Ndriko Mayigane has, for the past decade, been building youth movements across Africa and the world to address environment issues. Among them are; African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, Youth 4 Results, Rwanda #YACA (Youth Alliance for Climate Actions) as well as working as Coordinator of the National Poultry Program (MINAGI). He spoke to The Service Mag (TSM) about his leader- ship role as a social entrepreneur who mobilizes youth to engage and contribute to Rwanda’s development.
MAYIGANE: I am a social entrepreneur and one of the founding members of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), the biggest youth move- ment in the continent promoting youth leadership in creating awareness for climate change and in advancing locally made solutions for adaptation. The network is 42 countries strong with over 10,000 members.
I also co-founded the Youth 4 Results network in collaboration with the African Development Bank Group working on youth mainstreaming in the Management for Development results across Africa and promoting agendas for regional integration.
Additionally, I am the Founder and Chairman of the Rwanda #YACA (Youth Alliance for Climate Actions) aka RYACA which is a promising and inspiring local youth network of doers and makers, and active contributors to the green economy of Rwanda.
I have also been working as the Coordinator of the National Poultry Program under the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources’ (MINAGRI) Rwanda Agriculture Board to promote food security and improve rural households’ economy through sustainable and safe poultry farming systems.
TSM: Why are the above roles important? Youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow. We cannot talk about sustainability without involving youth in the processes, from their inception to finalization.
TSM: What do you consider the biggest challenge in your field?
It is not always easy to find the right incentives to keep the fire burning for youth especially when building a network that is volunteer-based. As a civil servant, it is difficult to make enough time for my youth networks, yet I love my job at MINAGRI and owe my professional development so far to it.
Actually not mine but our biggest success, with some colleagues who worked hard alongside with me for RYACA, is seeing this network taking shape little by little. RYACA in partnership with Miss Rwanda 2014, Akiwacu Colombe and others, have made a music video that highlights the need and benefits of protecting the environment. With RYACA, I feel like everything is possible with the right attitude and determination but most importantly the right team at your side that shares your vision. Everything is possible if you just dare to dare.
TSM: Where do you derive your motivation?
My passion for youth and Africa is my motivation. In light of this, RYACA has recently been selected by the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth Office to join the Global Partnership for Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This partnership aims at ensuring that young people are actively participating in setting, implementing, and evaluating the new development agenda due to replace the MDGs in 2015.
TSM: What are your aspirations?
Inspire a generation of youth who act as Youthpreneurs and Enviropreneurs in Rwanda. This means youth who are proactive and aggressive entrepreneurs in creating green jobs and opportunities for themselves and their peers in their communities, while being responsible and active global citizens.
TSM: What is your take on service delivery in the environment sector?
Rwanda is doing great in this area as manifested by the ban on plastic bags, beauty and cleanliness of Kigali. However, we still have a lot of work to do to reduce our individual carbon footprint which means simply reducing the impact of our personal behavior and acts on global warming. Let our daily actions and services always respond to the ‘3R attitude call’ which is to “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle”.
TSM: What is your message for the Rwandan youth?
‘The greatest adventure is what lies ahead. Today and tomorrow are yet to be said. The chances, the changes are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.’ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
Inspired most when: Looking at the blue sky and the full moon.
Saddest moment: When I repeat the same mistake.
Favorite hangout spot in Rwanda: Carrefour des Artistes at UTC.
Favorite dish: Isombe.
The gadget you can’t possibly do without: My smart phone—of course when internet is working.
If you had one wish, which celebrity, famous or influential person would you like to meet in person?: Jesus.
Current relationship status: I have a girlfriend.
The most daring or craziest thing you’ve done:Flying a small wagon plane as a co-pilot.