Boston, 11 March 2013
President Kagame today shared Rwanda’s ongoing journey to socio-economic change with students at the Harvard Business School who have spent the semester studying a case entitled “Rwanda: National Economic Transformation.” Taught by Professor Michael Porter, a leading expert on competitive strategy and competitiveness and economic development of nations, the course chronicles Rwanda’s economy from the 13th Century through the colonial times and independence to the current economic situation.
President Kagame spoke on Rwanda’s transformation as 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. People of Rwanda know what they want, how they want it. They don’t need anybody to hold their hands and say I must deliver you there. At some point you must say it is my hand and I must move on my own. How to govern ourselves, I don’t see anybody who can give lessons to Rwandans. When we will have problems, we will look each other in the eye and we will agree how to move forward.”
On Rwanda’s vision for the future, President Kagame told the students:
“Nothing has ever come to us on a silver platter. We have struggled for everything. Eighteen years ago, dogs were eating corpses of hundreds of thousands of people on the street. That is where we have come from. Today, the problems remaining are good problems. 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, building infrastructure and investing in our people. It’s all about the ambition you have.”
President Kagame also shared the progress Rwanda has experienced in the past years:
“People in Rwanda cannot afford to waste any opportunity. Every day we are looking to see what is it that will make a difference for us. The story of social economic transformation in Rwanda is real. We lifted 1 million people out of poverty in past five years.”
President Kagame will continue his US working visit with an address to 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 will be titled “Vision 2020” and will focus on Rwanda’s national plan of social transformation.