Millions of Rwandans for different reasons went into exile.
This greatly robbed the country of the important human resource.
Their intention to work and invest in their motherland, sounds like a gimmick, but may be tomorrow’s great success in terms of political and socio-economic development of Rwanda.
Africa in general and the sub-Saharan Africa in particular, has suffered from brain drainage for quite long time. The people of this region have had to flee from political instabilities, right after independence.
The postcolonial leaders never lived to the expectations. They had power from people, promising to serve them diligently unlike the colonizers.
But alas, they did the reverse, plundered the economy, butchered their own people—to the extent that some black Africans, even Sacrificed to have the colonizers ‘back’.
They were seen as lesser evils. Therefore, the number of Africans in the Diaspora increased due to many reasons, based on bad leadership.
People left Rwanda since the so-called independence, for similar reasons too. Some in exile messed up the country, forced others in exile while others are essentially economic refugees.
The three causes of refugees however, are interrelated and tend to overlap, which is why it is easy for one to use either, as an escape goat.
Like sowing the mastered seed biblical story, some were successful while the majority still live in the state of hopelessness.
Part of today’s success group, is the one we see coming to attend annual meetings (inama y’imishyikirano) from the Diaspora, as part of the Rwanda initiative programmes aimed at bringing the nation together.
The success we talk about does not necessarily mean having more ‘Dollars’ than others do, but having an open mind. A mind that is guided by reason- permitting one to give chance critical thinking. It is this attitude that has made the Rwanda Diaspora to re-think investing in their motherland.
If Rwandans worldwide can put their efforts together to develop their nation, I have no doubt, that the country will move a mile further, in realizing the important millennium goals.
The investment could not only restrict itself in the fiscal and monetary terms, but also in research. There are many Rwandan scientists living and working around the world, if they were coordinated to do research about agriculture for example, we would register great success.
Rwanda’s economy remains agrarian in nature, and any research aimed at improving it would be of paramount importance.
The most unfortunate thing that characterised African governments and the Diaspora has been seeing each other as enemies; this moreover made them ‘enemies’ to the detriment of the two.
The Diaspora has been synonymous with opposition and indeed, it engaged itself in activities aimed at bringing down governments they left, irrespective of the reasons that made them flee.
The created ‘norm’ is what makes people see today’s Rwanda Diaspora declaration, as a gimmick. But pessimists like me, feel that it can work, provided there is a change of attitude. Today’s gimmick may actually be tomorrow’s essential.