The Center for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes (CDE-Great Lakes) operates in Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its goal is to reduce barriers to prosperity and opportunity by promoting classical liberal ideals. One way it does that is through its Great Lakes Academy, which seeks to educate people on classical liberal ideas. These topics include free trade, individual rights, private property, rule of law, and democracy. Last December, CDE-Great Lakes added another component to the Academy called “Free Campus, Free Mind.”
“‘Free Campus, Free Minds’ is one of the activities of the Great Lakes Academy 101 program, which aims to educate and empower the next generation of free market advocates in Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo through debates and writing,” said Aimable Manirakiza, chief executive officer of CDE-Great Lakes. “After the training forums, students organize debates on the challenges of personal freedom and economic freedom on their campus in the presence of those who are able to influence a solution to the challenges of a free future that the countries of the Great Lakes region are facing.”
Even within the first month, this program is off to a strong start with 131 applications from the three different countries in which CDE-Great Lakes operates. Through these participants, CDE is working to spread the message of freedom across the region.
“This project is very important because it will help to promote the best positive steps to be taken to restore the current system by influencing the intellectuals and the climate of public opinion,” said Manirakiza. “We must continue to help the public understand why they should demand better economic policies, the rule of law and accountability in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”