Rwanda was the scene of one of the most horrifying genocides since the Holocaust. More than 800,000 people were brutally and systematically murdered in 1994. Since then, the country has made great strides to reconcile surviving Rwandans.
The genocide devastated the economy for years, but the government has been very focused on creating a positive business environment and encourage entrepreneurship. Rwanda is seeking to transform itself from a low-income agriculture based economy to a knowledge based, service oriented economy by 2020. The current major parts of the economy are tourism, mineral exports and coffee/tea exports, but the information and communication technology industries are growing in importance.
One of the major national initiatives is to switch the official language from French to English. This will allow it to join the East African Community (EAC) and to ease economic relations with its English speaking neighbors and South Africa. However, the country is facing a major challenge as it switches languages. In 2009, out of 31,000 primary school teachers, only 4,700 were trained in English and out of Rwanda’s 12,000 secondary school teachers, only 600 were trained in English (http://www.africaportal.org/articles/2012/05/31/costs-and-consequences-rwanda%E2%80%99s-shift-language-policy)
WCF sponsors business training/mentoring programs and intensive English Camps. Our Rwandan partner is launching a Technical School for Creative Design and WCF is planning to work together to jointly launch a Life Center to incorporate business and ESL training.