On Thursday, Rwanda's Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, launched the Fund for the Environment and Climate Change, modelled on a 'green bank' concept and designed to invest in projects that promote sustainability and tackle climate change. The fund is the first of its kind in Rwanda and the biggest in Africa and comes just weeks after the UN Climate Summit in New York...
Rwanda, the 'Land of a Thousand Hills' has luscious green peaks that stretch out as far as your eyes can see. But this beautiful scenery masks a terrible period in the country's history. In 1994, a brutal genocide tore Rwanda apart. Thousands of families were murdered, livelihoods were destroyed and many orphans were left to take care of their brothers and sisters. I recently travelled there to see how some of the money raised by Sport Relief and matched by the UK government is already hard at work, changing the lives of people who lost almost everything 20 years ago.
It takes someone extraordinary to be a true philanthropist, someone who is deeply troubled by the suffering in the world and who dedicates a significant part of his life to easing it, someone with a vision of hope, a vision that will change millions of lives for the better. Peter Clarke is just such a man.
In our global sports day, Britain isn't doing too well. 65th place doesn't exactly scream success. Even the most supportive parents would struggle to work-up a smile with that performance. As the case has been in Rwanda, the drive towards everyday equality of women has been propelled by the decisions and greater influence of women.
One wonders why the world insists on re-visiting Rwanda's violent past when it has such a promising future. To be sure, we must never forget, which is why last night's touching service was so important. Today though, when I think of Rwanda, I think of Joyce, Bruce, and Victor, and celebrate the victory of a bright future over a dark past.
In 1994 in the space of 100 days up to one million people were killed in Rwanda, in a calculated act, fueled and perpetrated by Hutu extremists in the then ruling government. It was one of Africa's defining moments, and one of the greatest crimes against humanity of the late 20th century, causing a shock wave across the world that still echoes today.
On this day in 1994 the Rwandan genocide was unleashed. Extremist members of Rwanda's Hutu majority set about slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus, irrespective of age or gender. More than 800,000 people were killed in 100 days of murder, rape and torture. I am in Rwanda today to commemorate the genocide, pay respect to the victims and honour the ordinary people of Rwanda for their remarkable efforts to rebuild their country after experiencing unimaginable horrors. But today we must not only pause and remember the genocide, its victims and survivors; we must also reflect on the lessons of that experience...