President Paul Kagame is on a visit to Israel to attend the first annual "Facing Tomorrow" Conference at the invitation of Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. The high profile event is part of a series of activities organized to commemorate sixty years of the rebirth of the Jewish state.
Yesterday the President participated in a forum dubbed "Presidents Discussing Tomorrow", moderated by former British Premier Tony Blair. The challenges posed by the terrific speed at which globalization is happening form part of the deliberations. Also under scrutiny was the scaled-up interdependence amongst world inhabitants, viewed against individual countries’ determination to remain as stand-alones.
A glance at the list of global VIPs rubbing shoulders in Israel tells a story about a Kagame, who will most likely return home with something in his bag for Rwandans.
This is because among others, United States President George W. Bush is there, along with global media mogul Rupert Keith Murdoch, Bernard-Henry Levi, famous French Intellectual and Philosopher, and Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel.
Other movers and shakers of the world at the conference are Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO Windsor Media; Sergei Brin, Co-Founder and President, Technology, Google Inc; Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State; and Abby Joseph Cohen, Senior Investment Strategist, Goldman Sachs.
Just before this current visit, Kagame had in a space of only two weeks been to Germany, United Kingdom and the US. In these frequent travels, the President primarily seeks to forge foreign partnerships that will bring into this country investments for national development. That is his part, which by any measure he is playing well.
Perhaps this is a critical time for us in the media to take stock of our own contribution. Are we focused enough in the noble duty of development communication? Since Rwanda is typically a developing nation, the need for effectively communicating development-related messages should rank highest on our lists of priorities as media.
It is a call that needs to be heeded by us in print as well as our counterparts in the electronic media. Do we devote as many pages and delve as deep as we can? The development stage Rwanda is at makes it crucial for many a journalist here to regularly examine ourselves as to whether we are giving it our all.