On September 14th the Rwanda Business and Culture Day took place in the ethnological Museum in Hamburg, Germany.
The event was co-organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in Germany, and Honorary Consulate of Rwanda in Hamburg with the support of the Hamburg City Authority, with the aim of promoting Rwanda culture and business environment among Hamburg city dwellers.
About 120 people attended the event and listened to presentations and panel discussions about Rwanda’s political, economic and social development since the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
In his welcoming speech Dr. Carsten Brosda, Hamburg’s State Council for Culture, Media and Digitalization Affairs, highlighted the strong bond between Germany and Rwanda and encouraged the audience to take the event as an opportunity to establish new contacts, gather inspiration and also learn something from Africa.
In his remarks Ambassador of Rwanda, H.E. Igor Cesar, outlined Rwanda’s commendable economic progress which was possible because of cherishing its cultural and traditional roots and a strong motivation among the Rwandan people to rebuild their country.
Other speakers included Mr. Tom Pause, managing partner at E&P Focus Africa Consulting Group, and Pierrot Raschdorff from the German-African Business Association, emphasized the progress made in the last years, such as an average economic growth of 7% p.a. (despite a lack of resources), commercialized agriculture, least corruption, a growing digital infrastructure, an increase of 150.000 jobs per year beyond the agricultural sector, the setup of solar arrays anda functioning health insurance system that covers 95% of Rwanda’s population.
Maximilian Hartweg, the co-founder of Ideas in Motion, also spoke about ways to Rwanda for those who don’t want to do classical development aid but rather use their academic expertise to help local entrepreneurs in Rwanda building up their business.
Mr. Serge Kamuhinda, COO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) talked about economic transformation in the country and the conducive business environment the government of Rwanda managed to build as attested by various survey by renowned global institutions and organization, namely, Rwanda ranked as Africa’s most efficient government (7th globally), the 3rd most competitive economy in Africa, it is the most improved country globally in development of human rights, the best place to be a woman in Africa (6th globally) and the safest place in Africa to walk at night (5th globally), Rwanda has doubled its average life expectancy from 30 to 66 years and reduced its HIV, Malaria and tuberculosis mortality rate by 80% in the last ten years.
Lydie Hakizimana from KLab Rwanda shared her very own business success story.
A “INTORE movie” produced by Mr. Eric Kabera, a film producer from Rwanda, was screened and was followed by a presentation of Esther Mujawayo, a sociologist, therapist and genocide-survivor: she narrated the traumatic impact of genocide and difficulties associated with reconciling post-genocide society. She concluded by saluting the hard decisions taken by Rwandans to live together in building a peaceful, hopeful and reconciled society.
The last session was a panel discussion on the question of “what Rwanda stands for today and how panelists see the future of Rwanda”: summing up panelists observed that Rwanda is not merely a developing country striving towards economic prosperity, much more it is a land of peace, a land full of energetic young and motivated people thriving to nurture and form Rwanda to the best possible version of itself.