The Rise of Rwanda

January 8, 2011

Muraho from Kigali, Rwanda!

I’m on my way back to the USA today after eight days in Rwanda.

Below are some photos from Kigali, Rwanda taken this week. While here I had a chance to explore Kigali, meet with entrepreneurs, trek with the gorillas in the Virunga National Park, hike on the mountains overlooking Lake Kivu in Gisenyi, and see the future campus of the Akilah Institute for Women in Bugesera District. Kigali is probably the cleanest city in East Africa with lots and lots of paved streets and sidewalks.

The World Bank in its 2011 Doing Business Report named Rwanda as the most improved country in Africa and 2nd most improved globally for ease of conducting business. The Rwanda Development Board (RBD) is working hard to streamline business and investment regulations to make doing business in Rwanda attractive. Take a look at this Powerpoint slide deck from the RBD detailing business reforms and this news article “Rwanda is Now Open for Business.”

The Kagame Administration is halfway into executing on their “Vision 2020″ to build Rwanda into a middle-income country by focusing on economic development from the IT and tourism industries. You must read this Vision 2020 PDF if you are at all interested in economic development or solutions to ending poverty.

Interestingly, President Paul Kagame is perhaps the most active Twitter user among African Heads of State, connecting globally with the IT-savvy world.

Carnegie Mellon will be setting up a computer science school in Kigali in 2011 to train the next generation of East African programmers. And the Marriott, Hilton, and Radisson are all building hotels here to open in 2012 along with the new Kigali Convention Center.

There is so much activity going on here!

Rwanda is not only ready for entrepreneurs, it’s ready for tourists too.

If you have a chance, you must come to Rwanda at some point in your life. It’s a beautiful, dynamic, and friendly country full of “a thousand hills and a million smiles.”

I’m about to board flight one for the trek home from Kigali –> Entebbe –> Istanbul –> New York –> Raleigh. I love long flights as I can read, focus, and plan! I’m back to iContact on Monday morning.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Did you know this was happening in Africa? Why do you think the media so rarely tells this side of the story about what is happening in Africa?

Tell me your thoughts in the comments.

A Different Picture of Africa

January 3, 2011

Muraho from Kigali, Rwanda!

I think I have a strange obsession with office buildings. Every time I drive by the new Quintiles office building in Raleigh, North Carolina where I live I get excited.

Take a look at these photos I took Thursday of some of the buildings in Nairobi, Kenya. It’s a different picture of East Africa than what one usually sees. Do these pictures surprise you?

The 21st century Africa is about opportunity, technology, and entrepreneurship!

More from Rwanda in the coming days…