Beyond A Thousand Hills
Beyond A Thousand Hills will take you on a powerful visual journey through contemporary Rwanda. From inspiring entrepreneurs to captivating landscapes, explore the untold stories creating one of Africa’s most exciting destinations.
Using the power of photography over a 12 month period, award winning photographer Cate Gunn and innovation expert and adventurer John Gunn, intimately documented the local people, businesses and projects that are shaping the future of Rwanda.
Through an official partnership with the African Entrepreneur Collective and by working closely with local development initiatives, they discovered a unique entrepreneurial culture that’s become the beating heart of a rapidly progressing but often misunderstood nation.
Beyond A Thousand Hills will visually document that culture and its manifestation across all aspects of Rwandan life.
By funding this book, you'll be helping to create and publish the first photographic celebration of modern day Rwanda.
A Unique Photography Book
Beyond A Thousand Hills: Edition of 1000
Photographs: 250 photos will cover 20 fully narrated chapters, each exploring a unique aspect of contemporary Rwanda.
Size: 36cm x 36cm, hard-back with approximately 150 pages
Cate is a published and award winning travel and arts photographer. With a background in Sociology & Collaborative Arts, and a passion for community and culture. She has spent time living in the UK, Africa and Asia.
Her work is largely humanitarian, and the majority of her photography focuses on capturing the essence of people and the unique places in which they live. Cate also facilitates participatory photography projects, working therapeutically with the camera to promote well being and positive social change.
Capturing the true nature of Rwanda’s inhabitants and culture, Cate continues to explore a visual documentation of the changing face of Rwanda.
John is a British Adventurer, Endurance Athlete and Innovation Expert. He has a passion for entrepreneurship and in the summer of 2016, he partnered with Cate and the African Entrepreneur Collective to found Run Rwanda, a pioneering 450km run across Rwanda with an ambitious objective to shine a light on a unique culture of entrepreneurship in the country.
Voted by the City of London as one of the 50 most inspirational people in London, John is a Fellow at the Royal Geographical Society and a regular commentator in the adventure press.
As co-author of Beyond A Thousand Hills, he is tasked with sharing the infections spirit of Africa's first entrepreneurial state.
Example Chapter Summaries
Introducing Africa's First Entrepreneurial State
Rwanda: a country nearly always judged by its tragic past and a destination not traditionally on tourists’ bucket lists.
Dig a little deeper, however, and you will find an exciting, evolving nation that is taking a unique approach to growth and development. Redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur, Rwanda is living up to its name as Africa’s First Entrepreneurial State. It is a fitting title for a country where a business can be started in 48 hours and children are taught entrepreneurship as part of the national curriculum.
By 2020 the Rwandan Government aims to transform the country from a low-income, agricultural based economy to a middle-income, knowledge-based, service-oriented economy. A strong commitment to entrepreneurship as a driver for 21st century growth guides this aim.
In 2016, award-winning photographer Cate Gunn and innovation specialist John Gunn partnered with the African Entrepreneur Collective in Rwanda to visually explore the untold stories fuelling one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.
Entrepreneurship From The Bottom Up
Entrepreneurs start young in Rwanda; the county's youth have been given the responsibility to dive economic growth and development as well as to build a culture of entrepreneurship from the bottom up.
In 2007, a series of entrepreneurship education programmes were developed for secondary schools that aimed to encourage a more entrepreneurial culture, transforming individuals and social norms.
By 2012, all secondary schools in the country were teaching entrepreneurship. Children as young as 11 were encouraged to develop entrepreneurial attitudes and taught how to identify and manage business opportunities as well as how to start and manage a business.
Over a million children had taken the course within its first two years.
Rwanda's Digital City
Kigali, Rwanda’s charismatic and orderly capital city is leading the country’s digital revolution.
Located in Rwanda’s centre and home to over a million people, Kigali is becoming known as an incubator for innovation. Across the city’s sprawling hills, budding entrepreneurs can choose from a selection of Innovation Hubs to network, cross-pollinate ideas and build their businesses.
From SafeMotos, an Uber-esque moto-taxi company created to improve motorcycle taxi safety (80% of all road accidents in Kigali involve ‘motos'), to Jumia Food, Rwanda’s fast growing food service app and equivalent to Deliveroo, the clean and developed capital is home to more than a handful of Africa’s most exciting digital entrepreneurs.
The country's entrepreneurial culture has helped to drive innovation across every district.
Rwanda is now, for instance, leading the way in pioneering wildlife conservation. Home to three national parks, the biggest conservation success story lies deep in the forests of the Virunga Volcanoes. Discovered in 1902, Rwanda’s mountain gorillas – the world’s largest primate – have since suffered constant persecution.
Critically endangered, an innovative conservation initiative has helped rebuild the remaining population. Centred on inclusive and sustainable eco-tourism, a limited number of highly priced tracking permits have been made available, providing the funds to protect the gorillas day and night with armed security.
While offering a once-in-a-lifetime encounter for guests, 5% of all permit revenues are invested back into the local community, providing infrastructure and employment across the northwest region of Rwanda.
Celebrated as one of the world’s best conservation case studies, the mountain gorillas are now the only primate species in the world that are increasing in numbers.
Innovation In Sport
Innovation in Rwanda stretches beyond the private sector.
The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation is currently constructing the country’s first international standard cricket facility on a 4.5-hectare plot on the outskirts of Kigali. By providing a green and pleasant environment where Rwandans of all ages can learn and improve their cricket, their mission is to provide people with skills they can use in their wider lives and, ultimately – on a broader scale – help promote reconciliation.
Over the last decade, Rwanda has emerged as a leading tourist destination in Africa.
This unique gem nestled in the heart of East Africa offers an evocative and enlightening lens on humanity, progression and conservation of natural beauty. From a turbulent past Rwanda has risen with unrivalled stamina and welcomes exploration, foreign investment and tourism with open arms.
Rwanda offers the discerning traveller a diverse range of experiences unparalleled on the continent. While wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy open-top jeep safaris across Akagera National Park, in search of lions, Hikers can explore the riches of Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Parks. That’s not to mention the volcano crater lakes, age old mountain gorillas and a thriving capital city, Kigali.
Beyond A Thousand Hills Postcards: Cate's favourite images from the book will be translated into unique Beyond A Thousand Hills Postcards.
Beyond A Thousand Hills Prints: Choose from a large selection of limited edition 30cm x 20cm high quality prints from Beyond A Thousand Hills, ready to be mounted and framed.
Beyond A Thousand Hills: Enjoy the book itself, and be one of the first to receive Beyond A Thousand Hills, a unique hard-back coffee table photography book
Beyond A Thousand Hills Framed Print: Receive a limited edition fully mounted and framed, signed and numbered print, delivered ready to take pride of place on your wall.
Beyond A Thousand Hills Photography Lesson: Enjoy a 4 hour photography lesson with award winning photographer Cate Gunn. The lesson will need to take place in the UK (travel expenses outside of London not included).
Beyond A Thousand Hills Exhibition: Enjoy a fully installed 7 day, Beyond A Thousand Hills Photography Exhibition, curated by Cate Gunn. The exhibition will include 40 captioned images mounted across 22 independently standing boards, ideal for both public or private spaces.
The £4,500 goal set will cover design, production and printing costs for Beyond A Thousand Hills. Once we hit target, we have the opportunity to increase the impact of the project through stretch goals!
If we raise in excess of £6,500 we'll be in a position to fund an official book launch, combined with a Beyond A Thousand Hills photography exhibition in Kigali, Rwanda.
A launch and exhibition will help to generate increased awareness as we continue to scale the project by working with East African tourist boards and local retailers.
The unique access to some of Rwanda's most exciting and inspiring stories wouldn't have been possible without the Beyond A Thousand Hills partners, based in Rwanda.
The African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC) was founded in Rwanda in 2012, as a collection of Business Accelerators that support local entrepreneurs to drive job growth across the country.
AEC Accelerators partner with young entrepreneurs to build their skills, expand their networks, and grow their businesses so that they may employ others. Since launch, the model has already helped to create over 1200 jobs.
Akagera Aviation is one of Rwanda's leading aviation companies, with a unique fleet of helicopters offering services ranging from medical evacuation, wildlife surveying and national pilot training. Akagera Aviation have partnered with Beyond A Thousand Hills by offering unique aerial photography opportunities.
Go Kigali was founded by Eliza Richman and Xavier Curtis in 2016 following the success of Go Addis (previously Addis Eats), Ethiopia’s #1 ranked tour company established in 2013. Go Kigali is the first tour company devoted to unique city tours in Kigali, Rwanda's charismatic capital city.
Despite the book still being in the production stage, the Beyond A Thousand Hills project has already captured hearts and minds out in Rwanda. Press coverage endorsing the book has been significant and the project even made the national news late last year.
Where The Funds Will Go
To date, the entire project has been 100% self-funded and all the content and photographs are in place.
A specialist London based design team is already on-board and working through initial mock-ups of the book.
We're turning to Kickstarter to raise the final amount necessary to print and publish the book. All the funds raised will be invested in the production of the book.
Find Out More
To find out more, please visit:
Risks and challenges
There are very few risks to the project. All of the photography has been completed and a design team has already signed up to produce the book.
The book will be published in time for Christmas, but if for any reason there are delays, these will be communicated at the earliest point possibleLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)