Commemorating the Rwandan genocide

by Dr. Michael Grosspietsch (GEI Executive Director)
The world’s eyes are upon Rwanda once again. Has it already been 20 years since we saw those horrific pictures in the news? Up to 1 million people killed in only 100 days? Today, on April 7, the world community has united in Kigali for the 20th commemoration of what is frequently called the ‘most effective’ genocide of the past century.

And yet for many it is also a time to celebrate. Rising from the ashes of a completely destroyed country, Rwandans and their friends created what is frequently considered to be the biggest success story of the developing world today.

Rwanda today is probably the safest and cleanest country in Africa. Corruption levels are among the lowest on the continent. Experts laud progress in healthcare and education, and the World Bank describes the country as the third easiest in Africa to do business in.

The most remarkable success, however, might be Rwanda’s efforts to empower women, whether in leadership positions or at the grassroots level. It is the only country in the world with a female majority in Parliament (currently at 64%), and it has established a 30% quota for women’s participation in all decision-making bodies nationwide, from the village councils all the way up to the level of national government.



Women were crucial to the reconstruction of Rwanda, and their hard work and commitment remains just as indispensable today. In the past few days, various excellent articles have appeared on the subject, and we particularly recommend this link.

In this spirit, GEI invites passionate and open-minded individuals to travel to Rwanda with our guest leader, Prof. Shirley Randell, AO, PhD, in order to discover just how these achievements were made possible and to celebrate women’s continuing vital role in leadership in Rwanda. Click here for further information and dates.