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Tutu's Children

Lydie Hakizimana: 'Imagining a happier story'

Helping spread English literacy in Rwanda's schools, she believes in finding hope through story-telling.
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2013 15:46
Lydie Hakizimana began by selling her own books from a small store in her spare time [Matthew Cassel/Al Jazeera]

An accidental entrepreneur and self-declared introvert, Lydie Hakizimana, from Rwanda, never expected leadership success.

"When you have the interests of the people at heart, you can do anything."

- Lydie Hakizimana, a publishing entrepreneur

When she returned to her country after the genocide as a teenager, she found her generation had lost all hope in the future.

But she believed that through stories they may find both escapism and hope. So she began by selling her own books from a small store in her spare time.

Now her company helps spread English literacy in schools by representing UK publisher Pearson in Rwanda.

Lydie wants the next generation to imagine a happier story - not easy when painful memories are still very raw.

What does Africa need?

"Currently there is only a handful of leaders who do not even see themselves as leaders. African leaders must own and take responsibility.

"Africa needs ownership; to believe in the power of business and achievements rather than leadership.

"As a Christian, the belief in God helps values [develop] in a person. Integrity is very important. It is what drives people in hopeless surroundings."



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Source:
Al Jazeera
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