President Kagame and Tawanda.
About a week later, our visit with Mr. Paul Kagame was confirmed. Also, the leader of our delegation, Professor Wells, agreed to let the Indego team present the Covanya basket to the president! All 41 of us made our way to his offices in 6 Army-green Landcruisers. After an initial security check, we made our way to an attractive conference center. President Kagame appeared some moments later. For almost 2 hours he entertained questions from our delegation on a variety of topics ranging from his leadership influences, to his views on China-Africa partnerships. I was blown away by his humility, intelligence, and vision for Rwanda. At the end of the discussion, Professor Wells teed up our basket presentation, after delivering a gift from HBS: “Mr. President, the last gift we have for you is perhaps the most important. This is a gift from your people, specifically from a group of Rwandan women who are working to lift themselves out of poverty. I call on Tawanda to present it to you.” Nervously, I grabbed the microphone and explained the origins of the basket and how the women of Covanya would be very happy if I took a picture with him accepting the basket. The president stood up immediately and ushered me towards him for the photo opportunity. And voila! Definitely a surreal moment – a moment that was realized because of Covanya and the great work Indego has been doing with the women there.
- Tawanda Sibanda, HBS 2011