Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nobody Owes Rwandans Anything...

Sound harsh? Before you judge, consider the source: Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Here's more of what President Kagame has to say:
It is very simple: nobody owes Rwandans anything. Why should anyone in Rwanda sit back and feel comfortable that taxpayers in other countries are contributing money for our own well-being or development? Why should we not be doing what we are able to do and raise ourselves up to higher standards and achieve more and better and get out of this poverty that we find ourselves in. Change has to start in the mind. And that is what we have been working on over time. Once the mind gets correct, the rest becomes simple.

This is the reason that we are focusing on creating an entrepreneurial mindset in every Rwandan. This mindset begins with a sense that one’s life, choices, and actions matter to the whole country. It begins with a clear understanding that business as usual is not acceptable. Every day, every Rwandan from all walks of life has a unique opportunity to change our country for the better.

The full essay is well worth a read. It'll be the lead in the special edition of Innovations journal that my editorial team and I have put together for the Ashoka-Lemelson Celebration of Fellows coming up in Hyderabad next month. (Thanks to Michael Fairbanks for that.)

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