Kagame meets YPO delegation

URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame yesterday received a delegation of Young Presidents’ Organisation with whom they discussed potential investments in Rwanda. The team was also in the country to follow up projects set up during their previous visits.

URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame yesterday received a delegation of Young Presidents’ Organisation with whom they discussed potential investments in Rwanda.

The team was also in the country to follow up projects set up during their previous visits.

During the meeting at Urugwiro Village, the delegation briefed the President on progress of ongoing partnership with Rwandan institutions in the fields of agriculture and entrepreneurship development.

“We will continue to work on the development of agricultural policies and entrepreneurial developments. We are working with the Ministry of Agriculture on crop storage and we intend to develop, local, regional and national storage facilities,” said Dennis Overton, the Managing Director of Aquascot and head of the delegation.

“We are also working with MINAGRI on the development of rain water capture dams, and again, that is a project that will run over years, and the development of seedbeds.”

“On the entrepreneurial side, we are closely working with RDB and there, we established a new organisation which is available for new start-up entrepreneurs. We have 22 already and we hope to have 100 by next year,” said Overton.

“We are also very satisfied with the economic development policies of Rwanda.”

Young Presidents’ Organisation is a global network of young chief executives that connects 17,000 peers and their families in more than 100 countries to learn, exchange ideas and address the challenges leaders face today.

Guided by the mission of building Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange, the organisation provides members with access to unique experiences, world-class resources, alliances with top learning institutions, and specialised networks to enhance their business, community and personal leadership.

YPO was founded in 1950 by manufacturer Ray Hickok who, at the age of 27, inherited his family’s 300-employee company in New York. He and other young presidents began meeting regularly as a way to become better leaders by learning from each other. This founding principle still guides the organization today.

YPO members are required to “graduate” from the organisation at age 50, with many joining World Presidents’ Organisation, or WPO, a group founded in 1970 by 200 former YPO members to sustain their YPO experience. Originally, called World Business Council, the group changed its name to World Presidents’ Organisation in 1991 to reflect its rapid growth in membership and global reach.

In July 2007, YPO and WPO merged to form a single, global network, enhancing the membership experience for both organisations. In aggregate, the companies run by YPO and WPO members employ more than 19 million people and generate US$4.3 trillion in annual revenues.

YPOs have groupings where members meet periodically for various purposes, including forums and networks.

Forums are groups of eight to 10 members who meet as peers on a regular basis in an atmosphere of confidentiality, trust and openness to share in each other’s business, family and personal experiences. While Networks put a new spin on YPO and WPO networking by allowing members and their spouse/partner to connect beyond their local chapters through special networks.

The Economic Development Network (EDN) strives to support all YPOs interested in helping the poor and disadvantaged help themselves.

In November 2008, a group of 12 members from Scotland, South Africa, Germany, England, USA and Canada visited Rwanda as part of an EDN exploratory mission. The purpose was to expose, absorb and learn.

When he met the YPOs, President Kagame was open and concise when asked what YPO could do to help in Rwanda.
He commented that it’s not money that is needed, instead said he values that YPO is a group with tremendous skill sets and a group that can get things done.

Kagame noted that if YPO can weigh in with their skills to help Rwandan people help themselves, then they would have his full support and resources.

The outcome was the formation of the YPO Rwanda Action Forum - with an initial focus on Agriculture (championed by Isabel Coppa - Melbourne Australia) and Entrepreneurship (Team Sager - California).

The Rwanda Action Forum is back in Kigali and will meet from 19-21 November 2010 to assess both strategic and operational issues.

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