Friday, August 15, 2008

Second night in Kigali

Second day in Kigali, 15th of August.
We had a long night sleep. Paul is still struggling with jet lag, but much more energetic than yesterday. We were picked up by Maurice, our driver, and Andrew, our RITA host, to pay our first visit to the School of Finance and Banking SFB. Along the way, we saw, first hand, the contradictions of a developing economy. There were rows of laborers with picks and shovels digging a long trench along the roadside. This very low tech labor is to open the way for a very high tech development -- fibre optic cables multiplying the Internet bandwidth for the country.

At SFB, we learned that the rector, Krishna Govender, was in South Africa, but we did meet the vice rector for academic affairs. We talked about the challenges the school is confronting. 6 out of 60 teachers/faculty have a PhD degree, 50% a master i business of sort and the rest "working on it". We discussed different possible forms of external assistance and this discussion will take more serious forms next week. The vice rector told us about their ambition to build up a Department of economics. Paul will give them his attention on Monday.

One of the most interesting discussions we had was with a local IRC official, Andre Ndjeru, who told stories of his years with the rebels and his role in the aftermath of the genocide. The advancing rebels had to care for orphans left behind their lines and to reassure the Hutus they passed that they did not seek revenge. At the same time, Andre himself commanded someone who came upon a man who had murdered five members of his own family. How does one convince such a soldier to renounce individual revenge in favor of a broader societal solution? Somehow, Andre managed that trick.

David Kanamugire, Andrew and Andre plus Andre's wife Mathilde had lunch with us at Novotel just because Andre knows how much I like that place. Stayed there last time with Liz McBride.
Novotel has a beautiful wild garden and everyone from rockstars to ex pats gathers there.
The food is great too.
The lunch discussion went from the political situation, why the report on the French collaborateurs during the genocide appeared now and not earlier or later to why Rwandans only marry Ugandan royalties and why so many Rwandans in the Diaspora came back after the genocide.

The reason the report about the French collaboration with the Hutu regime came out now they say is that it is first now they have the evidence, hard core evidence how French solider were direct involved and the names of the criminals protected by the French regime. The gaccacca courts have been able to collect enough information they say to provide hard core evidence right now.

The claim that Rwandans do not marry others than Rwandans, unless they are Ugandan royalties is interesting. "The Rwandan" have to make up the loss from the genocide, is my take on it. .

Many well educated Rwandans came back to build their country. They wanted to be where the action was and so they took their families and moved to Rwanda. David claim that there are plenty of opportunities to both make money and have influence over where the country is going.
Attractive for Rwandans who care about their culture.

Andre have helped me with my and Willie's study on CEO compensation and Distributive Justice. Eva will have 438 plus 125 students plus so the response volume will be great, hopefully.

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