Friday, November 5, 2010

2010 Oppenheimer Lecture, Rwandan President Paul Kagame

You may be interested in this article by the Rwandan President.....

"Delivering the 2010 Oppenheimer Lecture, Rwandan President Paul Kagame tackled head-on the issues of Africa, leadership, genocide and nation building."

The process of nation-building can only be internally generated and led; it cannot be achieved from the outside, however well meaning."

"From independence in 1962 up to 1994, Rwandan governments based their legitimacy on a fundamentally flawed premise of exclusion."

"African governments should eventually aim to wean ourselves off aid as an important component of our development effort. Rather, aid should be used to create conditions which will make it possible for us to live beyond it, because aid should not be an end in itself, nor is it a substitute for business, innovation and hard work. Aid that does not defeat poverty creates perpetual dependency, which in turn deprives Africans of dignity and self-esteem.
In conclusion, let me say that nation-building is like building a house. You start with the foundation before you build the structure. The foundation comprises security, peace, and stability. But let me also reiterate that, while acknowledging the value of external support and partnership, nation-building cannot be dictated from outside. It should reflect and be informed by the history and particular circumstances of a country.
And so, a nation that cannot find home-grown and innovative solutions from within itself to the numerous challenges of survival and growth is doomed to failure, no matter how much support it gets from external sources. It is with this in mind that Rwandans have sought to solve the numerous challenges we have met by drawing from our history, culture, and experience, as well as drawing support from others."

To see the whole article, click here.

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Hi, hope your enjoy reading about our adventures in Rwanda. We'd love to hear from you. Stephen and Mary