USAID has been working in Nyungwe since the mid-1980s. Our work there has helped to build an eco-tourism industry through activities like trail maintenance, training park guides, and creating partnerships with the private sector to invest in things like lodging around the park. We’re also working with communities living in and around Nyungwe to help them earn steady incomes in ways that don’t deplete the park’s resources.

There is a traditional African proverb that warns, “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” The grasses of Rwanda have known suffering. But while the elephants grew tired of fighting, the grass continued to grow. After the genocide in 1994, the national strategy for recovery was based upon the tenets of reconciliation, repatriation, and remembrance. In order to make sure “never again” became a reality and not just a mantra of genocides past, the government of Rwanda took reconciliation into their own hands through the tradition of Umuganda.

Perhaps the only thing that the average American knows about Rwanda is of the genocide that claimed over a million lives in 1994. When locating Rwanda, a small nation about the size of the state of Maryland, on a map of Africa, most would first notice their looming neighbor to the left, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

To realize Smart Rwanda Days, government, in partnership with the World Bank, yesterday hosted an event to help stakeholders develop a shared vision for the initiative. The two-day forum brought together global experts in ICT and economy from Africa and beyond, as well as Rwandan ICT enthusiasts to identify possible "Smart" solutions to deliver Smart Rwanda.

In reality branding and marketing a nation encompasses many more activities than most people realize, and depends on a wealth of formal concepts, processes and models not implied by the soundbites just listed. At any rate, this is still a sophisticated subject to our society's level of establishment. Even a large section of influence makers might not be acquainted with how real nation branding would be operationalised to yield an economic value.

A famous US Hip-hop, soul and spoken word artiste Charyse Bailey and her band, Mahogany Jones-Live, are in the country to share their music experience... The band's trip to Rwanda is designed to share America's unique contribution to the world of music and to promote cross-cultural understanding and exchange among nations worldwide.

Branding of a country is determined more by its value systems and governance principles. I was in Rwanda last week after one year. Every time I visit the country I observe a number of positive things that we Kenyans have not succeeded in achieving over the years.

In this respect, MTN Rwanda has supported and promoted the development of sports. This year alone the company sponsored the '2012 Peace Cup' soccer tournament was at the tune of Frw 51.4 million. It also supported local musicians through its involvement in the annual 'Salax Music Awards.