Travels from District of Columbia, USA
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa's speaking fee falls
within range: $10,000 to $15,000
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa is a Rwandan who has spent most of his life as a refugee. As a medical doctor and former diplomat, he has served in senior leadership positions in Rwanda, including as an Ambassador to the United States. He has represented Rwanda in the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the African Union. He has worked with governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia and businesses.
Currently, Dr. Rudasingwa is the President, CEO and Founder of a social enterprise with a mission to promote the health, livelihoods and wellness of women and children. His organization aims to promote small and medium enterprises and develop leadership and managerial capacity in Africa. He also works with Rwandans to embrace truth-telling, forgiveness and reconciliation as a pathway to healing and peaceful reforms in their country.
Theogene Rudasingwa is former Ambassador to the United States for the Republic of Rwanda. Dr. Rudasingwa is also trained and licensed as a medical doctor. He served in the Rwandese Patriotic Front as Field Doctor/Liaison Officer, Member of the Executive Committee, and as Secretary General. During his military career, he served as the senior liaison of the Rwandese Patriotic Front to European and African government officials, the Organization of African Unity, the United States, and the United Nations.
Dr. Rudasingwa has also traveled extensively throughout the United States, speaking at American colleges and universities about the period of genocide in Rwanda and the immediate challenges facing his country. Dr. Rudasingwa is the author of two publications: Background to Genocide and Imperatives of Reconciliation, Justice and Development.
Theogene Rudasingwa participated in the negotiations with officials of the then Government of Rwanda which led to the Arusha Peace Agreement. Together with other leaders of the RPF, he coordinated and supervised a variety of military and political initiatives in setting up the current Government of National Unity. He attained the rank of Major in the Liberation Army. Dr. Rudasingwa was appointed Ambassador to the United States in 1996. During his tenure as Ambassador, he has participated in the World Bank’s formulation of a Country Assistance Strategy for Rwanda, participated in the negotiations between the International Monetary Fund and the Government of Rwanda, and established and nurtured a series of strong working relationships with think-tank groups, NGO’s and the Bretton Woods institutions.
In this interview, Dr. Rudasingwa explains why he believes Rwandans “should try to forge coalitions among people who are in politics and those who are armed, those who are in Rwanda and those who are outside.” He explains that he has been in Belgium for two weeks to try to see what the members of the leadership of the National Congress have been doing, and to see “how to work together to try and face the challenges ahead.” He has also been contacting governments and other organizations to explain what is going on in Rwanda.
He goes on to discuss the Youth Connect dialogue, in which Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, called upon the youth of Rwanda to apologize for the wrongdoings of their parents and relatives. “I must say that it’s very sad, unfortunate and, in fact, very dangerous for any head of state of a country, who’s supposed to be speaking on behalf of his people, to talk in those terms,” he says. “His language was very divisive… this is a very, very dangerous speech, and it is one that you should not have expected from the head of state, because the head of state should be uniting the people, and not dividing them.”
In his Healing Series, Dr. Rudasingwa discusses ways that his audiences can live purposefully and meaningfully in the 21st century. He shares lessons which we can learn from farmers, business people, soldiers, teachers, monks, children or princes, which can illuminate our lives and guide us towards a better life. He explains how individuals, families and communities can cope and begin to heal during and after difficult times.
HEALING SERIES I: PURPOSE AND MEANING IN A TROUBLED WORLD
In his book, Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy said, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Our search for meaning, happiness, and a good life, last as long as we live. Uninterrupted happiness seems to be illusive, and “unhappiness” tends to punctuate the life of even the most well-lived life.
In history, across and within nations, at the individual, family, community, national and international levels, humankind does encounter difficult times. It may a challenge borne out of poverty, disease, climate change, the threat of weapons of mass destruction, war, genocide, hunger, slavery, refugees, narcotics trade and use, difficult relationships, isolation, financial and economic meltdown, or simply frustration that results from unfulfilled aspirations and expectations. Accumulation of wealth, wide-spread and fast technological change, access to the most advanced medicines, knowledge, religion, power and influence do not necessarily lead us to meaningful lives. Is the world half empty or half full?
HEALING SERIES VI: DOING BUSINESS AND DOING GOOD TO MAKE IMPACT
We now live in a world of crises: financial, climate change, and rising malnutrition, hunger, disease and poverty. It is also a world of countless opportunities. How do we respond? You are an individual, a not for profit or social enterprises, a foundation, business, international organization, or government interested in Africa and other developing or troubled spots.
HEALING SERIES VII: VOLUNTEERING TO CHANGE THE WORLD
A Google search for the word “volunteer” returns 56,700,000 results! We see volunteers in communities, states, nations and global scene. Volunteers work in all sectors, in rich and poor nations. They come in all ages, gender, faiths, and ideologies. They work in peace time, and in man-made and natural
disasters: Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Asian Tsunami, Haiti, Chile, Hurricane Katrina, just to mention a few.
Connectedness, compassion, and the urge to collaborate on local and global challenges of poverty, climate change, disease, among others, are shared values and an opportunity to turn passion to serve, unemployment and retiring into a fruitful opportunity. With massive unemployment, limited job opportunities, career transitions in mid-life, a young generation yearning to serve, and a retiring generation still willing to serve:
OTHER SUGGESTED PROGRAMS IN THE HEALING SERIES:
OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
OPPORTUNITIES IN GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT
You may be one of the several millions unemployed in the United States and the rest of the world, or graduating from college without employment prospects, in a career transition, or simply interested in harnessing your skills as a global citizen by serving beyond the United States. Every year, the United States, European Countries, United Nations, Japan, Canada, Fortune 500 and philanthropic organizations spend trillions of dollars in their international business.
Since 1970, developing countries have received
$2.74 trillion US in official aid. The United Nations would like annual aid flows to developing countries to be $155 billion US per year in 2010. Overall global foreign direct investment declined due to the financial crisis, but still $1.4 trillion U.S foreign assistance in 2007 totaled $42 billion. The US has projected to spend $60 billion on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria programs alone, mostly in Africa. This is a huge opportunity.
HIGH IMPACT PARTNERSHIPS IN LOCAL AND GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT
There are alliances, mergers, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions in business. There are public private partnerships in all sectors and for all sorts of problems, national and international. In global health alone, there have been more than 70 types of partnerships in the last decade. These global partnerships have been structured around diseases like HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, neglected diseases, as well as around other problems like health care workers, poverty and trade, etc.
Building partnerships across government, business and civil society has become one of the organizing principles of this century. Major 21st Century challenges are transnational, and they involve multitudes of stakeholders in government, business, and civil society. Even as they compete, they have to collaborate and co-ordinate their actions to make impact.
NATION-BUILDING IN POST-CONFLICT AND FRAGILE STATES
Libya. Tunisia. Egypt. Iran. Iraq. Syria. Yemen. Iraq. Afghanistan. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kosovo. West Bank and Gaza. Somalia. Democratic Republic of Congo. Sudan. Burundi. Liberia. Sierra Leone. North Korea. Ethiopia. Eritrea. Mozambique. Angola. South Africa. Rwanda. Nigeria. Zimbabwe. Haiti. East Timor. Northern Ireland.
What do they have in common? On the one end of the spectrum are the current troubled hot spots. On the other end of the spectrum are countries that for over two decades have been emerging out of deadly conflict or genocide. The complex emergencies that arise out of these situations are man-made and have far-reaching health, security and human development consequences.
When natural disasters strike, as in Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, and the earthquake in Haiti, the resulting complex emergency also has health, security and human development implications. How can communities, nations and the international community anticipate, prepare, prevent, manage, rebuild and heal in such states?
This inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral course is taught to undergraduates, graduate students, and the general public as part of continuing education. The main takeaways from this course include:
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
PATHWAYS TO COMMUNITY AND GLOBAL HEALTH
SECURITY SECTOR REFORM AND CONFLICT PREVENTION 2: THE GREAT
LAKES REGION OF AFRICA
PATHWAYS TO HEALTH , WEALTH AND WELL BEING OF COMMUNITIES 1:
BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
The purpose of this course is to introduce to participants the opportunities for
business and technology for sustainable development in sub-saharan Africa.
OTHER SUGGESTED PROGRAMS ON OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY:
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When the Kagame regime taunts Rwandans with its death squads armed with cannons and bayonets, we should stand squarely in his face, and like teenage boy David to giant Goliath, say: “who is this uncircumcised philistine who defies the armies of the living God?”. We are building a powerful army of free Rwandans, armed with peace, truth and unity. The giant shall soon fall. So, Rwandans summon the courage to slay the demons of guilt and shame, “us vs. them” mentality, selfishness and greed, “they will do it for us” mentality, fear, procrastination, denial and deception. We shall win!
Healing A Nation: A Testimony: Waging And Winning A Peaceful Revolution To Unite And Heal A Broken Rwanda
This is my testimony. It is the story of a Rwandan family caught up in the larger, tumultuous, and often tragic story of Rwanda. Though the history of Rwanda as a nation spans centuries, this testimony casts a glance at the two violent revolutions (1959, 1990) and their catastrophic consequences that have affected every Rwandan and Rwanda’s neighbors in the Great Lakes region of central Africa. Each revolution began with a promise, only to betray it. We repeatedly have become a nation of “losers and winners”, of “perpetrators and victims”, with individuals, families, communities and ethnic groups (Hutu and Tutsi) changing positions in a race beset with death and destruction. Rwanda is broken and hurting. All Rwandans, eleven million of them, are dying, alienated, exiled, fearful, traumatized, urgently and desperately in need of healing.
In this drama, now in the sixth decade of my life, I have witnessed two profound and disruptive conversions: first to Marxism, and then to Christianity. The first was about conquering enemies and capturing state power, where the ends justified the means. In the second, I have become part of a third, peaceful revolution, now in its infancy among us Rwandans, to become a nation in which we are all winners. Determined to build a free, united and prosperous Rwanda, at peace within and with her neighbors, all Rwandans need to think and act in freedom, truth, forgiveness, and justice, seeing each other through the prism of love so as to overcome their material and spiritual poverty.
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