Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Beautiful Flowers

.. on the ashes of genocide

From World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz's speech to the UN General Assembly:

In Rwanda I met a remarkable woman whose hard work and determination symbolize the talents and dreams of millions of Africans.

Beatrice Gakuba left a comfortable life in the West to start a flower-growing business in her native Rwanda. Against enormous odds, her small farm grew, creating jobs for nearly 200 rural women. When I asked Beatrice Gakuba why she decided to take on such a daunting challenge, she replied "I came here to grow beautiful flowers on the ashes of genocide." Her biggest obstacle to creating even more jobs is not a lack of skilled workers or entrepreneurial spirit; it is a weak infrastructure that makes electricity unreliable and transportation unaffordable.

Beatrice and others like her in Africa, not their corrupt and inept governments, deserve the world's support.

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