It looks like only the other day (1994) that Kigali was a colossal stench of rotting genocide-victim bodies. “The land of a thousand hills, a vast understatement in a country that’s all hills, Rwanda then could as well have been labelled the land of more than a million stinks. In the face of the monumental task, it was despondently ‘laughable’ – for lack of an appropriately descriptive word – to see exhausted and feeble liberation fighters trying to clean the city of heaps of such death-rot. Yet within no time, these gallants who’d just snatched Rwandans out of the jaws of obliteration had put the city and the whole country astir, up and on the road to orderly neatness. Slowly but surely and thoroughly, as genocide perpetrators bent to communicating and working with survivors, the former after asking for forgiveness and the latter graciously granting it, they together began the complex effort of healing hearts and minds for one another. All were scarred. And as they healed hearts and minds, so did they, their environment. By the mid-2000s, sometime after the RPF ruling party itself had properly cleaned its own leadership, it had disseminated its vision among the populace who’d readily married into and internalised it. The journey to make a Rwandan “special, specialised, synthetizing, adaptable, prepared and ready” to embrace the future had begun. As they say, when fish is rotting, it starts from the head. That being so, it also starts healing from the head. That’s how by 2010, Kigali was turning heads as Africa’s cleanest city. And how today it’s among a limited number of the world’s greenest and most beautiful cities. But many things had happened to lead to that. Rwandans had started to live as a united family again and done away with their past petty divisions. Poor citizens’ habitation was no longer the grass-thatch affair that’s the bane of African countries but was becoming a growing assortment of free flats that boast all amenities (a spectacle likely only seen in Israel). Their administration had cut corruption indices to near-zero. Government had devolved power and placed it in citizens’ hands. Rwanda had recovered her hospitality and easy warmth of service to all who came to her. A citizen’s word was now government’s command. Led and leader were in sync. Thus, in their smallest unit of organisation, Isibo, citizens ask what they can do for their country, not vice versa. They pool their resources and do their part, where government has not yet reached. From any part to any other, the areas are hot on the heels of Kigali to outdo it in clean beauty. Not with envy but with complementary aspirations to also host progress investments from anywhere. Today, Rwanda is no longer a bystander with open beak to be fed on decisions about world affairs made by world powers. She is equal partner in decision-making. In a word (elaboration of this process would take tomes), it’s a combination of this history and the rapid execution of these countless deeds that draw knotty agreements that need quick implementation to Kigali like bees to nectar. The 10th Extraordinary Session of the AU in Kigali, in March 2018, that sought to establish the ACFTA got 44 out the 55 member countries to ratify it. Three agreements were signed: African Free Trade Agreement, the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the Kigali Declaration. You may also recall the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, rooting for the reduction of consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons, of October 2016. The UN, perhaps smarting from its past abject performance here, could only dare call what it implemented in USA, December 2016, the “Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians”. Anyway, the whole line-up of the aforesaid spells durable peace, security, stability and safety of person and property. These are ‘nectar’ to local and foreign direct investment ‘bees’. And so to the rapidly expanding Kigali industrial park, despite a two-year-pandemic tardiness, is soon being added the crème de la crème in manufacture. BioNTech (22UAy.DE) will next year make this park home, a first on the African soil, before it does the same elsewhere in Africa. In Rwanda, you can be sure that the Covid, malaria, TB vaccines and later, no doubt, other vaccines as well as pharmaceuticals will be available for all who need them. The priority will undeniably be to the African populations for having always been dealt a bad hand, when it comes to anything essential produced outside. But back to the “crème de la crème”, what does it mean for Rwanda? It means the race is on, with all the major conglomerates of the world soon scrambling to ‘dethrone’ BioNTech. The jewel of the crown: After sometime, Rwandans will be in full charge of these conglomerate branches. Remember the voice of a commander to a tiny liberation-struggle outfit with hardly any hope of success some thirty years ago? “Remember, you are the foundation of a future Rwanda.” Who’d’ve thought this ever probable! When he looks back, President Kagame today must be chuckling to himself on recalling that then-so-audacious statement! The views expressed in this article are of the writer.