Rwanda could be among the smallest economies in the world moreover with a recent bad history but the country has collected its pieces together and began walking- this is what everyone wants to know how the country’s leadership did it.
On Thursday, President Paul Kagame met with 80 members of the Young Presidents Association from 17 countries as part of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Rwanda Life Changing Experience trip.
This trip seeks to allow the 80 YPO members to Visit Rwanda and learn about investing opportunities.
In his recount to the delegation, Kagame said his leadership started by investing in people, health, education, security, stability.
However, according to Kagame, the challenge was how to sustain this progress. How to reach everyone, make sure people can feed themselves and that we are getting investments that make everything sustainable.
For example the President said 24 years ago, life expectancy for Rwandans was 41 years old, now it is 67 years old. “We want to sustain that, keep that as a minimum but also go beyond.”
When Rwanda invested in Technology, several critics around the globe did not have any kind words for the government decision arguing that it was a waste of resources.
“Many thought our thinking was wrong. We were asked how you can think about technology when your people don’t have food. We didn’t see technology as a burden but as a solution to problems we had,” he told the delegation.
Any leader should face their challenges. “When you address a challenge, don’t celebrate too much because another one is coming. That is how you keep the balance,” Kagame cautioned.
Rwanda’s leadership managed to wage a tough war against corruption and has attained global recognition and Kagame told these young leaders, “We hold ourselves and each other accountable because that is what gives results. We cannot allow it because it has consequences we cannot afford.”
“Don’t be afraid of challenges. If you have aspirations for tomorrow then you have to stand up to these challenges.”
However, Kagame said the he is always uncomfortable that we would want to be seen as having lessons for others. “We first have lessons for ourselves. We are learning from others, experimenting, and we have not been afraid of trying new things.”
To reassure the young leaders, President Kagame said that Rwandans have left the emergency situation behind. “We are no longer trying to survive, we are living.”