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Dignitary from Congo visits campus

February 7, 2011 : David Hylton/Liberty University News Service

Azarias Ruberwa Manywa addresses students at the Helms School of Government on Monday.

Azarias Ruberwa Manywa, a former vice president of the Republic of Congo, visited Liberty University on Monday. He spoke to his son’s French class, attended convocation, visited Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. and addressed students at the Helms School of Government.

“I’m very happy to be here,” said Manywa, leader of Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (Congolese Rally for Democracy). “It’s a very beautiful place. This is the best place for our son to be.”

Manywa still lives in Congo, but much of his family is in Northern Virginia.

His son, Christian Ruberwa, is a Liberty freshman studying international relations. He discovered Liberty a few years ago when playing a high school football state championship game at Williams Stadium.

Manywa’s address to the School of Government was to discuss the challenges that Africa faces today.

“Africa is a very rich continent,” he said before his presentation, “but due to the lack of good governments, corruption, injustice and many other things, the people are very, very poor.”

Manywa cited uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt are prime examples of where governments are failing.

“The challenge today for Africa is not like in the past – slavery and colonialism … what we need is good leadership and governance,” he said. “If you have that, then prosperity will come.”

Manywa said having leaders with solid Christian values will make Africa stronger.

“There is no shame to say that,” he said. “If Africa can work on leadership skills today, we can make a better continent.”