National Kite Day

18:35 July 13, 2008
Kibuye, Rwanda

There is not much for Rwanda, and other African countries in the region to celebrate because the change in political status from previously colonized, has not yet brought about release from dependence on former colonial powers and other rich countries.

--Rwandan President Kagame referring to the recent 4th of July Liberation Day celebration which also marked 46 years of Rwanda’s independence

You can see it everywhere…..Landrovers with an international development organization logo plastered on the side, $200 million donation headlines in the local newspaper, reams of 3rd hand US t-shirts filling the markets. All of this is evidence of Kagame’s sentiment. The question is, “Does Rwanda resemble a kite in a strong wind? Or an anchor on the sea floor?”

We’re betting on the kite. Rwandans are about to take off and be independent from other rich countries as long as their approach is market-based. Forget donations. They don’t work long-term. Market-based approaches do, so why leave them just for the business world in Europe or North America? And that’s why we’re in the business of setting up locally-owned businesses. Local women are going to own their own sanitary napkin businesses and as long as they are meeting customer demand, their ventures will be sustainable, mitigating a problem that has huge economic consequences.

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