URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame, on Tuesday evening, hosted a group of 18 students from Harvard Kennedy School, at Urugwiro Village.
The students have been in the country for the last 10 days, getting a first-hand account of Rwanda’s remarkable transformation journey.
During their stay, the students interacted with top government officials, who also explained to them Rwanda’s economic reconstruction and how the country has improved her business climate, among other issues.
The students also attended the eighth National Dialogue that ended Tuesday, and visited various public institutions and private entities.
Speaking to The New Times after meeting the President, Angelique Kantengwa, a Rwandan student at the Kennedy School said that the experience was worthwhile.
“When I reached at Harvard, I met many people who were curious about Rwanda,” she said.
“There are very many stories about our country outside there, some of which are negative, so I seized this opportunity to bring these students so that they can meet the Rwandan people, and the President and hear (Rwanda’s story) from him, by themselves,” she said, adding that they were going to be ambassadors when they go back.
In an interview, Mark Tracy, a member of the delegation said that Rwanda as a country, its people and President Kagame have taught them many lessons that they are eager to take to their own countries when they go back.
“Frankly speaking, the portrayal of Rwanda in the Western press does not equal what we have seen here, so we are very enthusiastic about becoming ambassadors and taking the message back to our countries,” he said.
Tracy also lauded the progress that the country has made in as far as unity and reconciliation is concerned.
“It is so humbling to see the progress that has been made on such a difficult process like reconciliation,” he said, adding that hearing first hand testimonies from survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi was so meaningful.
“To hear such things directly from people who experienced the Genocide is just stunning and the whole world has a lesson to learn.”
Kantengwa said that she hopes to have more students from Harvard coming to Rwanda as a way of building a lasting relationship between the University and Rwanda, which could probably pave way for bigger projects like having a branch of the University in Rwanda.