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  • Writer's pictureFateh Al-Rabeai


Members of the second cohort of the Hikma Fellowship for Public Leaders, funded by the Dutch government and implemented by DeepRoot Consulting, visited the Rwandan capital Kigali during the period 4 to 8 July 2023. During the visit, Hikma Fellows conducted meetings between themselves to discuss the complication, requirements and principles for the resumption of the peace talks in Yemen, and meetings with Rwandan experts from government institutions such as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement; the Ministry of Local Government; and the Institute for Policy Analysis and Research IPAR , with a facilitation from Rwanda Cooperation Initiative (RCI) to study the Rwandan experience in peace building, reconciliation and public policy development. Hikma Fellows also visited a reconciliation village to listen to the testimonies of survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

Hikma Fellows discussed the complexities and impediments that curb the aspirations of those looking for peace in Yemen and the requirements for an inclusive peace in the country and how various challenges can be overcome. During various meetings and discussions with relevant government institutions, Hikma Fellows explored the Rwandan experience that extracted the country from a genocide that left 1,000,000 Tutsis (representing around 15% of the population at that time) dead on the hands of the Hutus, the role of the Belgian colonialists in sowing the seeds of schism, racial discrimination and their support to the government that mobilized its Hutu supporters in preparation for the genocide that culminated on the 7th of April 1994 and continued until mid-July.

Developments since the end of the genocide until the present day were presented, where the government, headed by Paul Kagame, made the Rwandan experience the focus of the world's attention as Rwanda achieved unparalleled development indicators in the African continent despite all what the country went through. This peerless development was established on the three pillars of reconciliation, unity, and non-discrimination between Hutus and Tutsis. It also relied on the principles of transparency, accountability, integrity, and building a unified and ambitious vision for the country.

These presentations were followed by a visit to reconciliation village inhabited by a mixture of perpetrators and survivors of the genocide. With support from the Rwandan government, these communities were brought together and blended to achieve harmony and peace that dissipated the animosities between the war criminals on one hand and the victims on the other.

During the visit to the village, Hikma Fellows were exposed to personal stories of suffering and how reconciliation was conducted.


Hikma Fellowship for Public Leaders

Yemen's long-term stability requires sensible leadership that has the knowledge and necessary skills to build the future, can embrace a culture of dialogue and is more amenable to compromise with their peers across the political spectrum. To contribute to this aspect, the Hikma Fellowship for Public Leaders brings together 15 first- and second-line emerging leaders from various political parties, movements, civil society, and influential independents.

These promising young men and women undergo a carefully curated program of workshops, dialogue meetings, capacity-building modules, and participant-led activities that will sharpen their leadership skills and encourage collaboration spirits, cultivating a diverse community of young public leaders and contributing to building a common vision for Yemen’s future. In addition to tackling core national-level issues, the Fellows completed advanced training modules on Adaptive Leadership, Public Policy Development, and will complete advance training modules on the leading with integrity and Negotiations delivered by internationally renowned institutions.

DeepRoot Consulting is a dynamic social enterprise passionate about Yemen’s development. DeepRoot aims to help international development actors, the private sector, local civil society organizations and the Yemeni Government anchor their interventions in a deep understanding of Yemen’s national and local contexts, and international best practices. Our leadership team and advisory board has decades of combined experience working in Yemen and internationally in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Funded by the Dutch Government

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