A delegation of 31 students and instructors from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in the US has been inspired by Rwanda’s leadership policies based on empowerment of citizens.
“We chose Rwanda because the country’s leadership demonstrates key skills necessary for a transformative leadership and we are really inspired,” said Carole Okigbo, one of the students shortly after meeting President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.
Okigbo, a first year student offering MBA stated that, their discussion with the President dwelt on the characteristics of a good leader and skills needed for transformative change.
The group that has been in the country since Sunday, is part of Wharton’s Global Modular Course (GMC) programme, where a team of Masters of Business Administration students visit several countries to learn about entrepreneurship and leadership skills in the emerging markets.
GMC exposes students to a unique combination of local immersion, course concepts and emerging business issues. The topics and locations give students first hand exposure to business challenges and opportunities in the regions undergoing rapid change.
There will be more global modular classes offered over spring break in China, London and South Africa, Italy and Brazil.
According to Katherine Klein, professor at the Wharton School and the vice dean for social impact, students were in Rwanda to learn about the country’s leadership and that was the core focus of their trip. “We wanted to learn about Rwanda and understand how the country’s leadership has managed to achieve the kind of transformation prevailing at the moment,” Klein, who was leading the delegation said, adding, “Rwanda has made a remarkable transformation despite the fact that the journey is still on, the country inspires hope.”
“While meeting the Head of State, most of the student’s questions were about leadership lessons, like what does it take to be aneffective leader.”
Amb. Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, said the students were interested in Rwanda’s leadership experience and how the country managed to recover quickly.
“They asked the President a wide range of questions regarding Rwanda’s recovery process and how the Head of State championed the transformation of Rwanda. This is very important to them because it’s part of their MBA courses,” he noted.