Kigali, 27 March 2013

A delegation of twenty International Policy students from Stanford University, led byfaculty leader Professor James Fearon, today met with President Kagame at Urugwro Village. The delegation was composed of a diverse group of students from the USA, China, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, South Korea, Germany and Switzerland.

Each year, the program sponsors an annual study trip to expand students’ exposure to regions critical to their understanding of international affairs and policy analysis. The Ford Dorsey program chose to visit Rwanda this year because of what they see as its increasing prominence as the center of technological innovation for Africa, regional political leadership, and unprecedented economic growth.

Responding to questions from the students during the meeting, President Kagame, on self determination said:

“People were made to believe you can stand back and do nothing and people will feed you when you are hungry, give you shelter when you have none”.

Discussing what distinguishes Rwanda’s development model, President Kagame told the students:

“We wanted an element of ownership without disregarding need for partnership. We don’t want you to do things for us but with us so that we end up in the driving seat because that’s where we belong. We want to work in a way that builds institutions and ensures Rwandans take charge of their destiny.”

Faculty leader, Prof. James Fearon said:

“Personally I have learnt a lot from the interaction with the President and it opened my mind to think broader about different issues. What stands out for me is Rwanda’s efforts to use education and high technology and integration the agricultural aspects of society to enhance growth towards vision 2020. I think if progress continues along these lines, that will be a tremendous benefit to the people of Rwanda.”