A video released by the Rwandan embassy in Senegal on Sunday shows former United Nations Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Fode Ndiaye saying the country’s “visionary leadership” has a lesson to teach African countries. The Senegalese development economist and former banker headed the One UN system in Rwanda from 2017 until 2022, when the country had embarked on recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking of the multifaceted crisis in which Rwanda found itself after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed more than one million lives, Ndiaye said the country has since experienced a transformational era. “You have a country that was for several years before Covid among the top 10 performers in doing business, among top 10 countries in economic growth rate. In 2022, after Covid, the real growth rate stayed at 9,2 per cent per year after a decline during the pandemic,” he said. ALSO READ: Rwanda still second easiest place to do business in Africa “Rwanda made three choices which are important after of the Genocide against the Tutsi. First, it’s unity; ‘We are all Rwandans.’ It’s not a problem of ethnicity; it’s about being Rwandan and patriotic,” said Ndiaye who attended a recent event organised by the embassy in Senegal. “Rwanda will be built by Rwandans,” Ndiaye said of the second choice, which is accountability and the responsibility of developing the country. ALSO READ: Rwanda’s strength is built on unity – Kagame On the third choice, which is thinking big, he said, with a territory of 26,338 square kilometres and 13 million people, Rwanda had to make bold steps to ensure it survives in the region of bigger countries. “And the visionary leadership did not stop there because the problem is how you combine leadership and management if you want to get results. They made the Vision 2020 and they have Vision 2050,” Ndiaye said of the strategic planning that seeks to take the country from a low-income economy to a high-income status by 2050. ALSO READ: Think big and be accountable, Kagame tells Rwandan youth Ndiaye’s ‘favourite’ homegrown solutions Ndiaye said there are three important homegrown solutions for Rwandans. First, he said there is Umushyikirano, the national dialogue that bring together leaders and citizens to discuss openly issues of national interest and deliberate solutions; and Umwiherero, the National Leadership Retreat, in which the leaders in all sectors spend days together to reflect on what has been achieved and what need to be done to further development. “The second factor that I find important is the institutions, systems and ecosystems put in place, because we need institutions of the system and human capital to put the vision into reality and so that the people can find their way there,” he said. “If today, to give just an example, everybody talks about artificial intelligence, did you know that Rwanda already has an artificial intelligence programme, where they put their own resources, $75 million? I don’t see many African countries that already anticipate. And that'S the vision. We have to anticipate.” ALSO READ: Positioning Kigali as a Pan African hub for FinTech and green finance He talked of Norrsken, Africa’s largest start-up and innovation hub that is based in Kigali, and the African Institute for Mathematical Science, which promotes teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to both boys and girls, as well as the African Leadership University and Kigali International Financial Centre. “That is also going to change the country, and Rwanda understands that.” he said. “The third element is investing in human capital, Ndiaye said. “How do we ensure that we take the best, even if we are late? Rwanda takes young people from Africa and elsewhere and brings them to contribute to the development of the country.” He also noted inclusivity in all sectors, which is not only about women but also people living with disabilities, who are represented in Parliament. He finds commendable the Itorero, a programme that trains the youth to be resilient in the future.