URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, hosted and held discussions on the country’s post-genocide reconstruction with a group of visiting students from St. Andrews School, Turi, an international school in Kenya.
The group, which is in the country to study how Rwanda has managed to move beyond its past and emerge as one of Africa’s fast growing economies, were accorded an audience with the President who freely interacted with them on a number of issues.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Hilda Onyango, the head of the history department at the school, said the interaction with the President gave the students an insight into Rwanda’s path to recovery.
“We have been very impressed by the kinds of development that we are seeing,” Onyango said. “We were especially honoured to meet President Kagame, pleased that he has been able to take time off from his busy schedule to answer the questions from the students.”
Onyango noted that the students who are studying conflict management and resolution were particularly impressed by the lecture by President Kagame on how the liberation struggle managed to stop the genocide, and thereafter embarked on an ambitious plan to reconstruct a devastated country.
Kagame also took the students through the story of how the country managed to put in place a unity and reconciliation government where ethnic differences have no room.
The Kenyan teacher added that President Kagame advised the students to not only look at themselves as future leaders, but people who already have responsibilities to live up to.
“It was really a good experience, a good opportunity. I have never met a Head of State before, it is really a privilege. He answered all our questions appropriately, everything we wanted to know and even more,” Vikki Mogeni, one of the students said in an interview.
The 15 year old 10th Grade noted that their experience in the countryside tours gave them an insight into the reconciliation process through interactions with local people who lost relatives in the genocide and those who killed them but they forgave each other and are living together.
John Gacheru, 16, also in 10th Grade noted that their visits to Murambi Memorial Site gave them an insight into the disaster that struck Rwanda in 1994 and the lessons that could be drawn from it.
He noted that President Kagame urged them as young people not to be prisoners of the past and move with modernity. St. Andrew’s School, Turi is an international, multicultural, Christian boarding school offering a British Curriculum education of the highest standard.