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President Kagame attends Milken Institute Global Conference

Los Angeles, 28 April, 2014

President Kagame joined leaders in the private and public sectors for the first day of the Milken Institute Global Conference held in Los Angeles.

Addressing over one thousand people, President Kagame joined the panel titled “Where does growth come from” alongside Tony Blair, Willem Buiter, Global Chief Economist, Citi, Scott Minerd, Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners and Osamu Nagayama, Chairman and CEO, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Chairman, Sony Corporation. President Kagame highlighted the growth of intra-Africa trade and encouraged the audience to invest in Africa:

"Africa’s growth is in the long term. An investment in Africa is a situation with enormous potential. Both people and investors would benefit. The message is simple. Time is now; Africa is ready for investments in different areas.”

President Kagame also shared his personal experience during Rwanda’s liberation struggle with the audience:

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Resilience of Rwandans kept nation alive

San Francisco 26 April 2014

President Kagame addressed Saddleback Church in Orange County California during an event held to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Genocide Against the Tutsi.

Speaking to thousands of Saddleback Church members, President Kagame described commemoration as a time to honor the lives lost and the resilience of survivors:

“We remember the more than a million lives we lost in the genocide. We honor the strength of survivors, as well as the resilience of Rwandans, that has kept our nation alive.”

Introducing President Kagame, Pastor Rick Warren described his leadership as key to Rwanda’s development:

“I have never met a leader like Paul Kagame, he is an uncommon leader in an uncommon country. When the nation of Rwanda was destroyed to ashes, people said it can’t be done. But it was done and Rwanda confounded its critics. Rwanda has chosen forgiveness. They are not denying the pain, they are willing to work together and move forward.”

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We do what it takes to fulfill our aspirations

San Francisco, 25 April 2014

President Kagame addressed Stanford in a lecture to students and faculty marking the Stanford Business School Global Speaker Series. Speaking to over four hundred students, President Kagame attributed Rwanda’s continuous progress to the ownership of all Rwandans:

“It has been a very long and challenging journey. The most important thing is that the progress involves Rwandans. We do what it takes to fulfill our potential and our aspirations.”

President Kagame listed social and economic stability as key to sustaining Rwanda’s development to date:

“We work to put in place the right environment: political stability, security, institutional governance that prioritizes accountability.”

On the issue of aid, President Kagame pointed to the need of both recipients and donors to redefine their relationship:

“There is nothing wrong with aid as long as it serves the purpose of getting people out of the cycle of poverty and dependency. Donors have been good at providing aid but not good at recognizing that recipients know their own needs and priorities. On the recipient’s side, the focus has been on getting aid rather than on what we need to stand on our own. We need to hold each other accountable on how aid is used and how to work together to get rid of aid.”

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Development is about human dignity

Boston, 23 April 2014

Today in Boston, President Kagame addressed students and faculty members at Brandeis University during a talk centered on Rwanda’s journey of recovery in the last twenty years.

President Kagame began by sharing the situation in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi:

“There is no template for putting a country back together after such a major tragedy. Everything was a priority. Almost everything of value had been destroyed. We had to make decisions without any comfort of adequate time or resources.This was the situation we faced in July 1994, as we stopped the genocide and formed a government of national unity.”

Faced with the challenge of rebuilding a nation, President Kagame added that Rwandans were determined to learn from their history:

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Africa has an inescapable duty to fix itself

Boston, 22 April 2014

On the first day of his visit to Boston, President Kagame addressed students at Tufts University on Rwanda’s progress and recovery in the last twenty years.

President Kagame began the lecture with an emphasis on the importance of historical clarity on the Genocide Against the Tutsi:

“Historical clarity about mass atrocities like genocide is a duty we owe the victims, in all aspects. It is the foundation of genocide prevention for future generations of humanity.”

Describing the origins of the Genocide Against the Tutsi, President Kagame pointed to the racial ideology promoted by the Belgian colonial administration and reinforced by the Catholic Church.

President Kagame added that the Genocide Against the Tutsi must be recognized as systematic attempt targeting one group:

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