KIGALI - President Paul Kagame yesterday met and held discussions with a 10-man delegation from the United States National War College at Urugwiro Village.
The group, led by Lt. Col Michael C. Lawrence, is in the country to learn the various aspects that have enabled Rwanda to rebuild herself, against all odds, after the devastation left behind by the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
Speaking to reporters after the discussions, Lawrence said that as part of their course at the Washington-based defence college, the students study the US foreign policy and Rwanda stands out as one of the countries that have progressed with the help of the US Government.
“We came here as part of our course which involves the study of the US foreign policy and in doing so, it was necessary for us to come to Rwanda which is the focus of our study,”
“We wanted to discuss potential policy implications and we also needed to learn about the rich culture and history of Rwanda and the Rwandan people so that we can use that when we go back to the US,” Lawrence said.
He added that the findings of the study would help them come up with the right answers on how Rwanda and US can further the good relations between them.
He noted that from their discussions with President Kagame, they found out that Rwandans are resilient people, driven by their culture and tradition to work towards the development of their country.
“Rwandans are very efficient, they use the few resources available to them to develop and move forward,” an elated Lawrence said.
According to Lt. Gen Charles Kayonga who had accompanied the delegation which consisted students and teachers, the group was interested in Rwanda’s progress to date.
“They wanted to find out how we managed to do what we have done and in a very short time and that is what President Kagame briefed them about---the liberation struggle for the country and the continued struggle to liberate ourselves in different ways,” Lt. Gen. Kayonga said.
He added that the students were mainly interested in the economy, culture, defence, diplomacy and ICT development as the engines of growth.
“The have got a clear picture of where we have come from and where we are going. We also briefed them about the role of the army in the development process because security is one of the pillars of development,” Lt. Gen Kayonga said.
During their stay which ends on May 17, the group will visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, the demobilisation commission, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Kigali Independent University (ULK) as well as Akagera National Park.
The US National War College is part of the National Defence University in Washington DC, one of the leading defence universities in the world.