California 13 February 2014

On the last leg of his California visit, President Kagame addressed the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. In a talk entitled Healing, Collaboration and the Role of Technology, President Kagame spoke on Africa’s ability to overcome its challenges:

“We must embrace the attitude that we can get ourselves out of poverty, conflict and disease. There are things we can do to give ourselves dignity.”

President Kagame shared Rwanda’s experience in rebuilding a nation:

“At the end of the day, no one had gained from the genocide. We lost people but even those who killed them lost. But from the beginning Rwandans refused to be trapped. We had a future to look up to.”


President Kagame pointed to the combination of reconciliation and justice as one of Rwanda’s key challenges following the Genocide Against the Tutsi:

“We could not find an answer in traditional justice and we looked to traditional means. We chose restorative justice, combining reconciliation with justice and enforcing a sense of responsibility. The result was millions of cases processed and allowed back to go to their villages to live together.”

When asked what drives Rwanda’s progress, President Kagame pointed to citizen participation and determination:

“Main secret is to never stop trying. We created space for everyone to contribute and bring their ideas and enable us to leave our tragic history behind and shape the better future we deserve.”

Executive Director of Shoah Foundation, Stephen Smith described Rwanda’s leadership as having enabled “stability, change and hope.”

Earlier today, President Kagame held a roundtable discussion at the University of California Berkeley Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society. The faculty present shared products developed at CITRIS that have provided solutions to the provision and access to quality health care.

During the discussion, President Kagame emphasized the role of technology in bettering lives:

“Technology used to serve people as tools for finding solution is a great thing. It gives technology a real meaning.”