Rick Warren Gives Thumbs Up to Rwanda's Vision 2020 Plan

Christian pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren has praised Rwanda's Vision 2020 plan, which seeks to develop the country into a middle-income economy by the year 2020.

The popular preacher and social advocate visited Rwanda over the weekend to check up on the progress of his PEACE initiative-funded projects in the country.

"I have read about Rwanda's Vision 2020. It is very good," said Warren, according to the Rwandan newspaper New Times. "The Bible says that without vision people perish."

The main goals of Vision 2020 is to socially reconstruct the nation and develop a credible and efficient state governed by the rule of law in order to turn Rwanda into a prosperous knowledge-based economy. Basic infrastructure would also be developed under the plan as well as entrepreneurship and the private sector, while efforts would also be made to modernise agriculture and animal husbandry.

Rwanda was one of the first countries to test Warren's PEACE Plan two years ago. The plan addresses five "global giant" problems - spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic diseases, and illiteracy and lack of education.

The PEACE Plan seeks to mobilise the one billion Christians around the world to combat the five problems by Planting churches, Equipping servant leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.

"Rwanda is a small country but with a big vision, I always think that God wants to use Rwanda to reach the rest of the world," Warren said, noting that God often likes to use small things to make big changes.

The "Purpose Driven" pastor emphasised the importance of a combined effort from the government, business community and the church in fighting social problems, singling out the need for a stronger relationship between the government and church in particular.

In addition, Warren praised the Rwandan Government for its intolerance of corruption, noting that it is an important quality in good leadership.

A team of missionaries from Saddleback Church is scheduled to arrive this week to help continue the implementation of the PEACE plan in the country. Warren was joined by his wife Kay during his visit to Rwanda.