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 Rwanda Business Forum with H.E. Amb. Mathilde Mukantabana

Rwanda Business & Investment Round Table: Navigating the Opportunities in Rwanda

H.E. Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the U.S.

Professor Mathilde Mukantabana serves as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America, as well as non-resident Ambassador to Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Her ambassadorial responsibilities include promoting stronger bilateral relations with the US, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, advancing Rwandan policies and priorities abroad, championing Rwanda’s culture, history, and economy, and engaging Rwanda’s diaspora in the United States to participate in the development of their country of origin. Her regular work entails frequent interactions with elected and appointed officials in all branches of government as well as with multilateral bodies, civil society organizations, and all major civic and educational institutions. 

​Prior to her diplomatic career, Ambassador Mukantabana served in higher education as a tenured professor of History in Sacramento, California, and as a lecturer of Social Work at the National University of Rwanda. Concurrent with her academic work, she co-founded Friends of Rwanda Association (F.O.R.A), a nonprofit American relief organization launched in the wake of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.


In addition, under the aegis of the United Nations for Development Programs (UNDP), Ambassador Mukantabana started the academic program of Social Work at the National University of Rwanda in 1999 and was a Lecturer in the program for several years.


She also serves on the Sonoma State University board of Holocaust and Genocide Studies Ambassador Mukantabana is a much sought-after national and international speaker and has presented to diverse audiences including major universities, global forums, international organizations, congressional and parliamentary hearings, think tanks, and international film and arts festivals.


She has extensive experience in organizing and leading international conferences focusing on Genocide, conflict, and peace resolution. Ambassador Mukantabana has won many awards attesting to her accomplishments including Peace and Justice Award from the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR); Peace and Global Peace Award (on behalf of Friends of Rwanda Association) by Global Majority, Crystal Apple Award for Best Instructor at Cosumnes River.


In addition, she is a recipient of several “Key to the City” awards in several US cities and was inducted into the 5000 Role Models of Excellence at the margins of the 27th celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. birthday.


She is the 2023 recipient of the Honorary Doctoral Degree of Humane Letters (L.H.D) at California State University Sacramento. Fluent in English, French, Kinyarwanda, and Kirundi, Ambassador Mukantabana holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography from the University of Burundi, a Master of Arts in History and a Master’s degree in Social Work both from California State University in Sacramento, California.


  • 8:00 AM | Arrival of Rwandan Ambassador to mingle with the crowd.

  • 8:00 am – 8:30 AM | Continental Breakfast Networking

  • 8:30 am – 8:40 AM | Videos played prior to the program

MC – Dr. Divine Arpellet

  • 8:40 – 8:50: Welcoming Remarks

Nelima Sitati Munene, Board Chair of Minnesota Africans United

Basil Ajuo, President and CEO of Minnesota Africans United


  • Introduction of Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ginny Arthur, President, Metro State University

  • Keynote: How Rwanda will work with U.S. Trade

H.E. Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the U.S. The ambassador will discuss Rwanda’s goals for trade with the U.S. and how to benefit Rwandan immigrants in the U.S. She will discuss what industries Rwanda has now and what products and business they want to nurture for the future.

  • Comments on Keynote and Introduction to Roundtable

Mark Ritchie, Chair, World’s Fair Fund and board member of Minnesota Africans United


  • Roundtable Discussion

How best to navigate trade with Rwanda and support new immigrants from the country.


  • Moderator: Tom Gitaa, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher, Mishale News Paper

  • Nelima Sitati Munene, Board Chair of Minnesota Africans United

Will discuss how MAU will help facilitate progress and relationships with Rwanda – a webinar, a trade mission in May, and ongoing connections.


  • Mohamed Abdiwahab, Assistant Commissioner, Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (DEED)

Will discuss what benefits and assistance the trade office offers to further the trade and business relationships with Rwanda.


  • Patrice Bailey, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Will discuss how the Department of Agriculture will help Rwandan immigrants who want to move into farming and related agricultural businesses. For example, will discuss the emerging farmer program.


  • Lawrence Manzi – Deputy Ambassador of Rwanda

The Bridge for the Diaspora from US to Africa


  • Ben Dossman – Investor

Will explain how he wants to do in Rwanda what he has done in Cameroon – assisting emerging farmers, launching businesses and trade.


  • Closing Remarks

Basil Ajuo, President and CEO of Minnesota Africans United

Point of contact:    Basil Ajuo: +1(505) 204-5927 | G. Trokon +1(763) 898-7639


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