Africa Study Visit in Rwanda: Day Four

Yet another busy day in Rwanda! Today’s theme focused on economic development in post-genocide Rwanda. Our first lecture was presented by Mr Leonard Rugwabiza, Director General of National Development Planning and Research Department from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. He gave us an insightful lecture on the vital nature of economic development and the country’s innovative vision for 2020. After the lecture, Mr Rugwabiza very kindly invited us to take a tour of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning with him. We naturally accepted, and all really enjoyed looking around the ministry – we even bumped in to an alumnus from Bradford there!

In the afternoon, Joseph Kabakeza made a presentation on the role of the Diaspora in peace building and development in Rwanda. We heard about various diaspora and community development projects such as the ‘One dollar campaign’ and ‘Bye Bye Nyakatsi’ campaign which aim to provide houses for orphans and the poor. After yet another lengthy but extremely interesting question and answer session, we set off to our next meeting, at the Rwanda National Police headquarters. One of the first things that we all noticed after arrival in Rwanda was how well organized the police is and how safe it made us feel – whether in taxis or walking around. Inspector General – Emmanuel Gasana’s explain to us country’s policy and work, and gave us briefing on the security situation in the country (what is very useful considering our Visits to other regions of Rwanda in the week to come). During question and answer session, he also told us about the importance placed on police training, how they support community projects, and the methods they are using to combat the challenges they face. We really appreciated being given the opportunity to hear first hand from the Inspector General about the importance of the work of the police as an aspect of peace building and reconciliation efforts that are taking place in Rwanda.