The first generation of children born after Rwanda's 1994 genocide is just now reaching maturity, setting aside their school uniforms to take up adult roles in Rwandan society and the economy. At the same time, Rwanda's post-war government has begun to shrug off international aid as it pursues an increasingly independent path of business-friendly yet strongly state-regulated social and economic development. The Orderly Entrepreneur tells the story of a new Rwanda now at the vanguard among developing countries, emulating the policies of Singapore, Korea, and China, and devoutly committed to entrepreneurship as a beacon for 21st century economic growth.
Drawing on ethnographic research with nearly 500 participants, The Orderly Entrepreneur investigates the impact and reception of the Rwandan government's multiyear entrepreneurship curriculum, first implemented in 2007 as required learning in all secondary schools. As Honeyman shows, "entrepreneurship" is more than a benign buzzword or hopeful panacea for economic development, but a complex ideal with unique meanings across Rwandan society. She reveals how curriculum developers, teachers, and students all brought their own interpretations and influence to the new entrepreneurship curriculum, exposing how even a carefully engineered project of social transformation can be full of indeterminacies and surprising twists every step of the way.
About the authors
Catherine A. Honeyman is Visiting Scholar at the Duke Center for International Development and Managing Director of Ishya Consulting.
"This book is a powerful examination of how Rwanda, Africa's first entrepreneurial state, has harnessed smart education policies to rapidly transform its economy in just one generation. Honeyman underscores the power of consistent policy in balancing between youth creativity and state regulation for economic reconstruction. Africa's leaders can only ignore this book at their peril. It is a potent antidote to Afropessimism."
—Calestous Juma, Harvard Kennedy School, author of Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies
"The Orderly Entrepreneur is a highly compelling analysis of entrepreneurship education in Rwanda as conceived by national and international policymakers; operationalized by teachers; and creatively modified and, indeed, sometimes openly rejected by students. Combining careful attention to the complexities of Rwandan history alongside her original field research, Honeyman provides a strong argument for her conclusion that many creative entrepreneurs are very likely to be disorderly."
—Amy Stambach, University of Wisconsin-Madison