Rwanda’s development progress reaches foreign ears

Rwanda has made great strides in development over the past ten years. Buildings, roads, health facilities, agriculture, and sanitation have all improved in this period.

Rwanda has made great strides in development over the past ten years. Buildings, roads, health facilities, agriculture, and sanitation have all improved in this period.

The improvements have become almost commonplace, and many Rwandans take it for granted that the country will continue to improve for the best.

For visitors from abroad, the level of development visible in Kigali is not necessarily expected.

Many are happily surprised by the level of security and visible signs of growth.

In a press conference recently, President Paul Kagame even wondered how people from abroad come and recognize the country’s achievements, when little acknowledgement comes from the country’s own citizens.

Kevyn Kirven, Senior Artistic Director of the American company, Regis, said he was encouraged by the country’s development. He had thought Rwandans were still in conflict and struggling to live together.

He admits he found the opposite. “People are happy, living together and generous.

They are totally different from what I’d expected.”

Kirven was sent to Rwanda by his employer, the Salon Company, Regis. Regis looks to help Rwandan women through Business for Peace (BPC).

Kirven commends Rwandans to maintain the spirit of considering others when opportunities avail.

He says they should not become obsessed with money and power like the United States is.

“It changes your attitude towards others,” he said.
Russell Brown, Senior Artistic Director of Regis also says he had a bad image about Rwanda, but it has changed.

“When I was told by my boss that I was coming, I had taken few days having watched (the movie) ‘Sometimes in April’ and thought the Genocide was a recent incident. So I was scared,” Brown admits.

He says he could not imagine being in Rwanda. He had to be assured that the Genocide took place 14 years ago before accepting to come.

Brown also says that he thought they would not get much to eat in the country.

“I thought people eat snakes and things like that, and that I wouldn’t get to eat much.

But I have gotten whatever I want to eat and have continued to put on weight the past days,” he said.

Rwanda’s development has been noted by the Ibrahim Index as well.

The Index, financed by Sudanese mobile phone magnate Mo Ibrahim, ranks all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa according to their levels of good governance.

It evaluates nations’ progress in safety and security, rule of law, transparency and corruption, human rights, sustainable economic development, and human development.

Data to complete the survey was assembled from various sources including the United Nations, the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, and think-tanks such as Human Rights Watch and Freedom House.

Harvard University academics analyzed the data and completed the rankings.

According to the assessment, Rwanda ranked 18 out of 48, and was lauded as the most improved sub-Saharan nation over the past five years.

Two island nations top the list of the best governed, first and second; Mauritius and Seychelles, respectively.

Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo were found to be the worst and second-worst governed states. 

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