A delegation of around a hundred fellows at the prestigious Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial on 5th May to commemorate the Genocide against the Tutsi and take part in a workshop with Aegis on Peace and Values Education.
During their visit, the Africa Leadership Initiative fellows laid wreaths at mass graves in the grounds of the Memorial where 250,000 victims of the genocide have their final resting-place.
Fellows at the ALI are successful business entrepreneurs and leaders within government and civil society organisations, aged 35 to 50, who are committed to promoting and personally exemplifying effective values-based leadership in their communities across Africa. They had come together in Kigali for the Africa Impact Forum 2023; the third such forum ever held, and the first since the pandemic.
Following a tour of the Memorial’s permanent exhibitions, members of Aegis’ education team took the fellows through a workshop unpacking the path to violence using historical facts and testimonies of those who survived the genocide. They then explored the path to peace, looking at how a nation can rebuild after identity-based violence and genocide.
As part of their visit, fellows gathered at the Memorial Amphitheatre for a youth-led play on life for the generation of Rwandans born after the genocide. Titled ‘Generation 25’, it was inspired by true events and describes the role of different generations in building a new and unified legacy for Rwanda.
“Memories should be transmitted across generations touching on every aspect of life,” the Aegis Trust’s Executive Director Freddy Mutanguha told the assembled fellows at a panel discussion concluding the visit.
“Through our programming, we have seen young people committing to take part in the healing and rebuilding process – and for them to be willing to take a step is a sign of hope and a better future,” Aegis Youth Officer Joelle Benitha commented.
“There is beauty in every horror if there is courage to look for that beauty,” said Hope Azeda, founder of Mashirika Performing Arts and a Rwandan Fellow in the ALI.
“We were born from a country that experienced death but a country that chose life. We exist and carry the responsibility that goes with it,” added choreographer Yannick Kamanzi.