A debate on Rwanda’s recovery process, almost 20 years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi begins today in London, United Kingdom.
The two-day high level debate under theme: “Rwanda under the RPF: Assessing Twenty Years of Post-Conflict Governance, was jointly organised by the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS- a London public research university, the Journal of Eastern African Studies, and the Centre for African Studies at the University of London. It is expected to attract different researchers.
It will explore the nature of Rwandan politics under the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) leadership and its impact on the post-Genocide reconstruction process, regional relations and the citizens’ livelihood.
“The question of Rwanda’s recovery is an important one, and continuing to assess the social, political and economic conditions in the country is a big part of what we are doing with the conference and subsequent special issue,” Jason Mosley, one of the organisers of the forum told The New Times yesterday.
He added that the papers to be presented at the forum are intended to form a special issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies, which is a peer-reviewed academic journal.
“The peer review process and subsequent revisions by authors should take a few months, and the special issue will hopefully be ready for publication in early 2014,” he said.
Key speakers include Prof. Anastase Shyaka, the CEO of the Rwanda Governance Board, Dr Jean-Paul Kimonyo, a policy advisor in the Office of the President, and Fredrick Golooba Mutebi, a researcher and lecturer at Uganda’s Makerere University.
The forum will also draw Rwandan government critics Filip Reyntjens, and An Ansoms from Belgium and Gerald Gahima, a former Rwanda prosecutor general, currently in self-imposed exile.
Discussing politics, governance
“The motivation for the conference was to create space to discuss 20 years of politics and governance under the RPF. We hope that the range of voices that we’ve been able to include will provide a range of constructive analyses of key themes,” noted Mosley, who is also the Managing Editor, Journal of Eastern African Studies.
The conference is expected to provide ideas and lessons that would help UK researchers to publish a detailed analysis about Rwanda’s transformation journey.
Prof. Shyaka told The New Times yesterday that he will present the consensual model of democracy that RPF has applied, in the last 20 years.
“The pre-1994 period was dominated by an aggressive nature of politics which led to Genocide against the Tutsi,” he said.
He added, “The Post-1994 period has seen RPF leadership laying the ground for politics that promotes the fundamental principles of good governance. My take is that practically this model is yielding results in the areas of economy, social cohesion, nation building as well as stability.”
He noted that Rwanda is investing in long term enterprise and wealth creation for all Rwandans and that the country prefers consensus over confrontational politics. He said that is the right path.
“Rwanda Governance Board has conducted a lot of evidence based studies on political and social governance and we will use them to articulate our arguments.”