Lydie Hakizimana — Aid & Corruption

Co-founder, Managing Director of Drakkar Limited, Rwanda

When you have corruption in a country, people are just discouraged. There is no hope. They don’t see themselves successful in the long term.

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Lydie Hakizimana — A Textbook Entrepreneur

Lydie Hakizimana is the co-founder and Managing Director of Drakkar Limited. As an avid reader, she and her husband Tunga Kalisa have always loved to collect books from their travels. In 2006, they decided to open a small used bookshop, which, as they developed relationships with more and more publishers, evolved into Drakkar Limited specializing in the reselling of educational textbooks. Today in Rwanda, there is only one English textbook for every five children. Readers are a luxury. The national goal is to have one book for every child by 2015. The opportunity for Drakkar Limited is great, even in the face of intense Kenyan and Ugandan competition. Lydie manages 45 employees; thirty part-time distributors covering the five provinces of Rwanda. Although Lydie may not have as much time for leisure reading as she once did, as entrepreneur she’s building a vibrant business that is helping Rwanda build the knowledge-based economy it needs to fulfill its vision.

Lydie Hakizimana — A Global Businesswoman

Prior to founding Drakkar Ltd, Hakizimana worked for OTF Group, a Boston-based consulting firm working in Rwanda.  Her area of expertise was the Timber Industry in Gabon and the Hides & Skins Industry of Rwanda. She holds BBA in Marketing from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology. Globally, Hakizimana’s entrepreneurship and business acumen saw her selected in 2009 by the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) to represent Rwanda in a U.S government sponsored program. Hakizimana had the privilege of training under the mentorship of Kris Kleindienst, the owner of one of the finest bookstores in St.Louis. This mentorship developed new skills and she is now involved in training other Rwanda women on how to write business plans. Hakizimana has also been elected as the National President of Junior Chamber International Rwanda.

  • The Cultural Effect of Corruption

    Corruption leads to a lot of missed opportunities.

    When you have corruption in a country, people are just discouraged. There is no hope. They don’t see themselves successful in the long term. They just feel that they need to know a minister or the son of the minister to be successful in a country.

    With hope you can have ideas, with hope you can think of a better future, with hope you can take the risk. But when you see that the government is not putting in place that environment that can help you to have that hope, it’s just useless. When you think of creating a business, when you have the ideas, when you’re trying to put those ideas in papers, when you’re submitting the ideas, and after few days or a few years, you’ve seen there’s some people in the government stealing that idea, it makes you fear. You just fear to take the risk.

  • Foreign Aid

    The question is, where is this money going? Most of the time, especially with African countries, I think even sixty percent of that money is going in the pockets of leaders. That money is not even used by the people, it’s not benefiting the people at the end.

  • God’s Entrepreneurial Image

    God created us in His own image. He gave us intelligence; He gave us the means to think and to create.