Kigali, 21 December 2012

Today at Urugwiro Village, President Kagame received 22 business students, Professor of Economics and one staff member from Stanford Graduate School of Management.

President Kagame thanked the students for their work to improve entrepreneurship in Rwanda and expressed his hope that this trip will benefit both Rwanda and the student.

The students, who are in Rwanda as part of the Stanford Social Innovation Study Trip, were given the opportunity to interact with the President on subjects ranging from Rwanda’s development, infrastructure and the President’s leadership legacy and Rwanda’s vision.

To explain the origins of Rwanda’s vision, President Kagame told the students:

Africa has close to 1 billion people and enormous resources. The only thing missing is Africa substantially benefitting from this and owning it. The origins of our vision are about asking ourselves why are others developed and we are like this? Do we deserve it? What can we do to change it and create a pathway for transformation? Our vision is about redefining ourselves and becoming who we should be.”

President Kagame concluded the interactive session with these words of advice to the students:

“Choose the life you want to lead, believe in yourself and remember that nothing will happen until you do it. Never be put off by challenges, always move up because that is where you belong.”

The “Social Innovation Study Trip” is supported by Stanford’s Center for Social Innovation and is one means by which business students can satisfy Stanford’s “Global Experience Requirement.” The theme of the trip is “Rwanda: Paths to Prosperity”, and the focus is on better understanding the challenges and opportunities for economic development in low income countries.

The interest to Rwanda came from the fact that despite the 1994 Genocide, and other obstacles, Rwanda has transformed itself from a failed state into one of Africa’s fastest growing, most stable, and least corrupt countries in only two decades.