Rwanda's transformation a reflection of its people — Kagame

President Paul Kagame has said Rwandans have moved a step further and are only focused on transforming the country and improving their livelihood.
President Kagame addresses Michael Porter's class on Rwanda's economic transformation at the Harvard Business School. The New Times/Village Urugwiro.
President Kagame addresses Michael Porter's class on Rwanda's economic transformation at the Harvard Business School. The New Times/Village Urugwiro.

President Paul Kagame has said Rwandans have moved a step further and are only focused on transforming the country and improving their livelihood.

He was on Monday addressing the Economics class at the Harvard Business School on competitiveness, an event held in Boston, United States.

 

Kagame explained that Rwanda's transformation is a reflection of people who are shaping their future and believing in their ability to govern themselves.

 

“We have stopped surviving, we are living. When you are living, there are demands. We want dignity,” he emphasised.

 

“People of Rwanda know what they want, how they want it. They don't need anybody to hold their hands and say I must take you there. At some point you must say it is my hand and I must move on my own.”

The Head of State added: “How to govern ourselves, I don't see anybody who can give lessons to Rwandans. When we get problems, we will look each other in the eye and agree how to move forward.”

Kagame's interactive discussion with Prof. Michael Porter’s class, who is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council dwelt on the case study dubbed “Rwanda: National Economic Transformation” which documents the country’s economy from the 13th Century through the colonial times and independence to the current economic situation.

The Harvard Business School course is taught by Porter, a leading expert on competitive strategy and competitiveness and economic development of nations.

“Nothing has ever come to us on a silver platter. We have struggled for everything. Eighteen years ago (during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi), dogs were eating corpses of hundreds of thousands of people on the street — that’s where we have come from. Today, the problems remaining are good problems,” Kagame told the students.

On Rwanda's vision for the future, the President added: “We can now worry about transition; we are no longer worried about survival, about life and death. We have left that behind. We are building institutions, infrastructure and investing in our people. It's all about the ambition we have.”

He also shared the progress Rwanda has made in the over the years, saying Rwandans cannot afford to waste any opportunity.

“Every day we are looking forward to see what will make a difference for us. The story of social economic transformation in Rwanda is real. We lifted one million people out of poverty in past five years.”

It was President Kagame’s second visit to Porter’s class, following the first appearance in 2011.

The Head of State continues his US working visit and is today expected to address over 500 students at the University of Hartford Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies where the university is launching its Genocide and Holocaust Education Initiative.

The address titled “Vision 2020” will focus on Rwanda's national plan of social transformation.

The Maurice Greenberg Center’s Genocide and Holocaust Education Initiative will preserve the memories of the Holocaust and genocides worldwide.

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