There is need for mindset change towards African products

Editor,

RE:‘Made in Rwanda’ initiative needs careful implementation” (The New Times, April 9).

Let us collectively try to get rid of the attitude of always playing the victim.

Who is then to blame if Rwandans do not buy and use local products? Every one of us.

But, in hindsight, after all nobody is really to be directly blamed. We all are victims of our history that brought us literally to “denigrate” ourselves and everything of ours.

As Rwandans and Africans we don’t hold in high esteem ourselves and everything belonging to us. And we don’t even know how to value ourselves, to value our individual and our collective capital in another way, under different terms than those set by westerners.

Over the centuries, we are constantly psychologically conditioned to believe that we and our intrinsic belongings are inferior to everything western. In every sphere of our lives, nothing of us has any value.

We are eternally ‘poor’ and ‘underdeveloped’!

Why should I buy ‘Made-in-Rwanda’, rightly or falsely believed and condemned to be of inferior quality, whereas thanks to (western) globalisation these days, what I naively believe to be of better quality, is readily available?

It is even given to me for free, through aid and through many subterfuges.

Simply put, all through, I have been taught that I would find quality from anywhere near home.

Yes, patriotism is an issue. But more fundamentally, the problem is that for us Rwandans - and Africans in general - truly “the beautiful ones are not yet born”, even after four decades following the Ghanaian writer Ayi Kwei Armah’s admonition.

Francois-Xavier Nziyonsenga