Good Governance and Democracy, hallmarks of true Independence
Rwanda today celebrates 50 years of Independence. Over 50 years ago, a wave of Independence swept across Africa with many movements seeking to gain Independence. Indeed majority of African countries gained Independence around the same time.
It was a time of hope and many believed that finally, after many years of colonial domination, Africans would take charge of their destiny and build strong independent and democratic states that would serve the hopes and aspirations of its people.
Unfortunately for Rwanda, Independence came at a time when ethnic divisionism was taking root and many were being driven out of their country.
For Rwanda and most of post independence Africa, hopes for a bright future were quickly dashed when dictatorships took over and in other cases politics of exclusion and divisionism became the order of the day.
Economically, there was stagnation and people’s welfare was never the focus of most of the ruling elite. A governance and democratic deficit is what came to define the African state.
Rwanda’s journey of democratisation and good governance only begun in 1994 when the politics of divisionism and ethnicity ended. Indeed, across Africa like in Rwanda, there is cause for hope that the future is bright. Africa’s renaissance is indeed here.
To mark Rwanda’s 50th independence and the liberation of the country 18 years ago, an international conference on Governance and Democracy, with an African perspective, was held.
This is a fitting way of marking Independence as focus turns onto the future. Good governance and democracy will be at the centre of the quest for a better future.