Atlanta, 19 September 2014
President Kagame addressed students at Mercer University Stetson School of Business. In an interactive discussion moderated by Ed Baker, editor of Atlanta Business Chronicle, President Kagame spoke on Rwanda’s vision and the business opportunities that exist today.
“Vision 2020 is premised on investing in our people and developing our people. That is why we are focused on measuring how fast and how far we are moving in the direction we want.”
Attributing Rwanda’s vision to lessons from the past, President Kagame emphasized the importance of citizen participation in shaping Rwanda’s future:
“We were very conscious of where we were coming from and what needed to be changed: our mindset. We fought against genocide and when we took responsibility, we made sure that we did everything possible to make every Rwandan feel that they have a stake in what is happening in the country. People used to wait for people to do the work for them. We said no, it has to start with us. The others can help but only if you are doing something.”
President Kagame also addressed Rwanda’s efforts towards self reliance:
‘We may not want aid but we need it. But the best way to use it is in a way that we need less of it.”
The event was attended by over 100 MBA student and faculty and served to launch the University’s latest Mercer on Mission service initiative, which will take place in Rwanda.
The initiative will be a three-week study abroad and service-learning led by Dr. Etienne Musonera, associate professor of marketing and Dr. Gerry Mills, graduate program director and lecturer in health management. During the three weeks, students will get involved with AVEGA-Agahozo (the Association of the Genocide Widows of Rwanda) and Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.