Editorial: No, Kigali is not a stroke of luck; it was built by dedicated hands

Kigali’s hospitality industry has been very busy this year. One international meeting after another have been alternating, a true indication that the country’s vision to become a conference hub is right on cue.

The latest has been the just-concluded Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance Weekend that attracted over 1,000 delegates. One thing that visitors concur; Rwanda is working like clockwork, a rarity in many a developed country.

They are amazed at its miraculous cleanliness and working infrastructure but fail to understand that a lot of efforts and dedication is the magic behind it all.

But some Rwandans today are content to bask in the limelight of praise with little or no contribution. Some are happy fleecing our visitors by over charging. They put a blemish on a gem that was lovingly cut with sweat and toil.

The Kinyarwanda saying; Utazi ikirezi ntazi ko cyera (roughly meaning that some people are unaware of their good fortunes) sums it up.  But those good fortunes are not taken for granted; they are nurtured and guarded jealously.

When we see world leaders heaping praise on the country’s achievements after the tragic Genocide what does it tell us?

When Mastercard Foundation chooses Rwanda as its laboratory for innovative learning and promoting youth entrepreneurship and education, what is the story behind it?

All this is more reason for people to keep the momentum and not be captives of our visitors’ admiration. There is more work to be done and there is no time to pat ourselves on the back.

 

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