LINA Symposium

“Building Connections:

Between and Within” 2019 LINA Inaugural Symposium

Liu Institute for Global Issues

University of British Columbia

October 18-19, 2019



Building a Resilient Society in Rwanda: Political will, Environment and Enabling Policy



In the last 25 years, Rwanda has risen from a failed state to a model state. In 100 days, more than a million innocent lives were slaughtered for no other reason other than the fact they were born Tutsis, or refused to buy into the ethnic cleaning ideology of the day.  This presentation will take you on a journey to Rwanda: “The land of thousand hills”. I will share with the audience how I co-founded a non-profit organization as a platform for international volunteers who wanted to travel to Rwanda, learn the history, learn the culture and gain a deeper understanding of Rwanda development journey, and come back and share their experience within their network. This presentation will focus on how political will, environmental stewardship and enabling policies are paving the way for Rwanda to rise from one of the poorest countries in Africa to a middle-income economy. 



Lama Mugabo is a Community Planner with twenty years of progressive leadership experience. In 2005, Mugabo co-founded BBR - Building Bridges with Rwanda, a non-profit organization designed to create a platform for collaboration between international volunteers and Rwandan people who are working to rebuild their society. 


On June 6th 2019, BBR collaborated with Hogan’s Alley Society, and the SFU Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement, to host Remember Rwanda 25; a community dialogue to discuss lessons learned from twenty-five years of post-genocide reconstruction and reconciliation in Rwanda.


Currently, Mugabo is working to implement RR25 Legacy Project , which will consist of a biannual conference, and study-tours to Rwanda, every alternate year. Mugabo is encouraged by the enthusiasm to explore ways local communities can learn from the remarkable results from Rwanda. People are interested to learn how post conflict reconciliation is made possible through multi stakeholder engagement. In one hundred days of slaughter, more than a million Rwandans were killed for no other reasons other than the fact that they were born Tutsi, or refused to buy into the Hutu ethnic cleansing ideology of the day.


Through public speaking and community engagement, Lama brings together a cross section of people to facilitated conversations that uses experiential learning to build community, locally and globally.