The President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame delivered a lecture about the challenges facing Rwanda and opportunities for economic and social development to a group of graduate students at the Harvard Business School on Monday.
President Kagame gave a brief history of Rwanda then spoke about the transitional process highlighting the emphasis on building institutions, reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure and democratization.
Kagame also emphasized the importance of peace and security as a foundation on which other developments can take place. He said that Rwanda’s low human resource base is a challenge that the government has given priority to addressing.
In a question and answer session with students, Kagame identified agriculture and agro-processing, tourism, energy and telecommunications as the sectors with the highest potential for development.
He said that investors would find Rwanda an attractive investment destination because of an effective administration which is among the least corrupt countries in the world. He attributed the low level of corruption to a conscious decision by the government to educate the population about the dangers of corruption and the establishment of institutions to deal with the problem.
On HIV/AIDS, Kagame said that the pandemic has had a serious effect on Rwanda and Africa as a whole, particularly because it has affected the most productive sections of the population. He said that public awareness campaigns as well as measures to treat the over 500,000 people already infected are in place.
Kagame also noted the importance of changing mindsets and status quos in Rwanda to enable fresh ideas and concepts that could lead to development to emerge and flourish.
President Kagame was speaking to Prof. Michael Porter’s management class. Prof. Porter is a leading academic specializing in international competitiveness and management.
Earlier in the day, President Kagame held meetings with Prof. Summers, President of Harvard University, and Prof. Clay, Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).