Rwanda, Inc.: How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic Model for the Developing World

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Overview

Nearly two decades after Rwanda’s  horrific  genocide, the country  has been transformed. High  rises are going up in the capital city of Kigali; a  newly established  stock  exchange  is  attracting  investors;  and the economy is transitioning from subsistence agriculture to information and communication technology. In pursuit of the alchemy that made Rwanda such an unlikely  success story, Patricia Crisafulli and Andrea Redmond interviewed Rwandan ...

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Rwanda, Inc.: How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic Model for the Developing World

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Overview

Nearly two decades after Rwanda’s  horrific  genocide, the country  has been transformed. High  rises are going up in the capital city of Kigali; a  newly established  stock  exchange  is  attracting  investors;  and the economy is transitioning from subsistence agriculture to information and communication technology. In pursuit of the alchemy that made Rwanda such an unlikely  success story, Patricia Crisafulli and Andrea Redmond interviewed Rwandan government officials, including  current president Paul  Kagame, as well as business leaders, foreign  investors, NGOs, and everyday civilians.  In Rwanda, Inc. they look at  the key factors that allowed this tiny country to beat the odds—including  Rwanda’s  efforts to encourage  private  sector development  and foster entrepreneurship, and how Kagame’s unique  leadership approach led to gains in health, education, and food sustainability. They  also explore  what the future holds for this resilient nation, and the steps it’s taking to develop the next generation of public servants. With so many  eyes on Africa as nations rebuild in the wake of the Arab Spring, this is a timely and fascinating look at what other emerging democracies can learn from Rwanda’s triumph.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In Rwanda, Inc., Crisafulli and Redmond recount the rise of an unyielding people and their chief executive, President Paul Kagame.  The Rwandans, rallying around their national pride, have built predictable systems that reward enterprise and hard work, and created an exceptional blueprint for other developing countries.”—President Bill Clinton

“Crisafulli and Redmond investigate the Rwandan renaissance, focusing on ‘Rwanda's CEO,’ Paul Kagame…a fascinating portrait of a nation and a president at a pivotal moment in history.”—Publishers Weekly

"An instructive snapshot of Rwanda today."—Kirkus Reviews

“Rwanda is the most amazing story in Africa—the fastest rate of poverty reduction ever achieved on the continent, despite huge handicaps of history and geography. Yet until now, these achievements have largely been missed by the outside world. This book will awaken you to Africa's most extraordinary phoenix.”—Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion

“Andrea Redmond and Patricia Crisafulli are known for their ability to connect with people, examine leadership skills and teach us through their compelling observations and insights.  As advocates for the future of Rwanda, they are now telling a story that we can all benefit from hearing.”—Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase

 

"Rwanda Inc. documents this beautiful country's ongoing transformation through the lens of leadership, capturing the resilience of the human spirit and the potential for any country-or company-to chart an ambitious new course with ingenuity, collaboration, pragmatism and passion."—Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Starbucks

"In the 21st century, finding ways to transform poor countries may mean the difference between war and peace.  Any country that can provide a model for how to make poor societies prosperous will contribute decisively to global stability.  This book suggests Rwanda may be building that model.  Rwanda Inc. is the story of the most exciting development project underway in the world today."—Stephen Kinzer, author of A Thousand Hills

“Paul Kagame is one of my heroes and I believe should be recognized as a ‘Hero of the World’.  He has led Rwanda out of the most hellish nightmare one can imagine, into the daylight of national reconciliation and the formation of a democracy.  This is a story that can become a model for the entire African continent.”—James Sinegal, Co-Founder & Director, Costco

“Rwanda has achieved a remarkable turnaround, from the poster child of despair to symbol of progress, in less than 20 years.  The unique leadership attributes of Rwandan President Kagame and his drive for broad-based economic growth continue to move the country forward. Rwanda today is inclusive, focuses on reconciliation, empowers women, decentralizes government, and involves the community in rebuilding—for the benefit of all. This is why Marriott wants to do business in Rwanda.  Here, Crisafulli and Redmond tell this turnaround story brilliantly.”—Arne M. Sorenson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc. 

"By adopting an approach of 'trade not aid,' our company has developed a sustainable multi-million-dollar business relationship with Rwanda since 2005. Our beautiful, handmade Path to Peace baskets, sold in Macy's stores and on macys.com, help hundreds of widows of the genocide support themselves and their families. In Rwanda, Inc., Patricia Crisafulli and Andrea Redmond outline how President Kagame rebuilt the Rwandan nation in a manner that encouraged business collaboration and projects like Path to Peace at Macy's. In the process, what was a tragedy has become a story of inspiration and hope, with all of the women of Rwanda working side by side."—Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Macy's, Inc.

 

Publishers Weekly
In their latest, Crisafulli and Redmond (coauthors of Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders Who Endured Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms) investigate the Rwandan renaissance, focusing on "Rwanda's CEO," Paul Kagame, a former refugee turned politician. Now in his second term as president, Kagame looks toward the future in light of the "lofty" objectives he set for his administration and nation. His hope to make Rwanda a self-sufficient economy is encompassed in his Vision 2020, a series of goals that range from decreasing the number of citizens who live in poverty to developing the Rwandan stock market. During Kagame's tenure, he has placed a heightened importance on education—making 12 years of schooling compulsory— while stimulating agriculture. His initiatives favoring universal health care, unification and reconciliation, and grassroots change have improved the quality of life and encouraged investment by outsiders. Although the authors seem too quick to dismiss criticism by Human Rights Watch and others, this is a fascinating portrait of a nation and a president at a pivotal moment in history. Agent: Delia Berrigan Fakis, DSM Literary Agency. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
A mostly optimistic assessment of the small East African nation nearly destroyed by genocide during the first half of the 1990s. Crisafulli and Redmond (co-authors: Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders Who Endured Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms, 2010) focus on the post-genocide presidency of Paul Kagame, a Rwandan native who grew up as an exile in Uganda and returned to his homeland as the leader of military rebels hoping to restore unity. Kagame is not portrayed as completely flawless, but nearly so. He earns accolades from the authors, who have traveled extensively in Rwanda, for helping to heal the nation after a million or more deaths due to hostility between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Crisafulli and Redmond depict Kagame running Rwanda more or less like the powerful, benevolent CEO of a major corporation. Improvements in poverty levels, education, health and electrification are impressive by any measure, although the country has a long way to go before the majority of its residents can be called prosperous. The authors suggest that an apt comparison can be found in South Korea, which developed quickly once its citizenry expressed the desire for change and identified appropriate leaders. This comparison would be more persuasive if the authors' discussion of Rwandan development depended less on generalities. However, a few specific examples resonate strongly, such as the story of a Westerner who studied the coffee trade in Rwanda and found a way to increase exports while improving the lot of local coffee growers. According to Rwanda's new constitution, Kagame must surrender the presidency after serving two electoral terms. The authors say they believe he will step aside peacefully in 2017 because of his love for the nation. Despite an occasionally confusing narrative structure, the authors provide an instructive snapshot of Rwanda today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137278951
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 632,241
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Crisafulli is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The House of Dimon. She lives in Chicago, IL.Andrea Redmond is the co-author with Patricia Crisafulli of Comebacks , which won a Gold Medal in the 2011 Axiom Business Book Awards. She lives in Chicago, IL.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    I just finished reading Rwanda Inc. and as in past books by Ms.

    I just finished reading Rwanda Inc. and as in past books by Ms. Crisafulli, I was so impressed by the rich content and quality research.

    What I hadn't expected was the dual lessons both from a business perspective as well as a personal one. The Rwanda model of do for yourself, remain independent-minded and self-determining, and forge strategic paternships with those who support your vision underscores what has worked for me. Given that I am a CEO who is retiring soon, I found other thoughtful messages at the end of the book about leaving a legacy and having lasting influence. Bravo on a story that needs to be told and for making it such a rich and rewarding read!

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