It’s not from any Rwandan’s mouth. It’s from the pages of a nondescript online newsletter or paper named NewsnowGh. But it’s quoting the esteemed African Development Bank Annual Development Effectiveness Review of a while ago, which says, Rwanda is second on a list of five African countries with the best road networks. If you’ve seen this, you must’ve been taken by surprise. On the list, first comes Namibia; third, South Africa; fourth, Morocco and fifth, Kenya. Maybe you’ve been to Namibia or Morocco, maybe you haven’t. Whatever, if you have been to South Africa, you must’ve marvelled at the width of the highway between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Tell me, did you believe such a road could be found anywhere else on this continent except, maybe, Mauritius? The other roads were holding their own, alright, but not awe-striking. Mauritius must’ve seemed to rival the first world as concerns roads in the late 1990s, also, which means it’d by now have surpassed South Africa. It’s a surprise it doesn’t. Then there is our own East African Community member, Kenya, which recently has embarked on creating fine roads, following the launch of the impressive Thika Highway. So, that Rwanda grabs second spot among the constellation of these ace countries, should surprise anyone who knows her history. Some people may think that Rwanda started the path to progress in infrastructure immediately after her 1994 resurrection, like a shooting star. This is far from the truth. First, there was a cleansing of the country. Like embarking on the gargantuan task of mending hearts and minds of the population, to bend individuals back towards unity and reconciliation. The just-formed and integrated military forces needed time to shrug off and whack a génocidaires insurgency from a neighbouring country. Sundry others. Moreover, the new ruling party itself had internal contradictions to iron out. It was thus not until 2000 and more firmly 2003, that the now-clearheaded leadership could get Rwandans to pull together and place the country on the path of growth. The first baby steps also took time to turn into firm and fast paces, from which point we can talk of a road network plan, after many other priority plans, being put into action. In reality, we can talk about the firm, fast pace taking effect around 2010. Thus the surprise. That from a paltry few kilometres of hard-surface roads, Rwanda’s road network has top position in Africa at its fingertips, after only about a decade. Because as we talk, she is in a busy-bee, cutthroat competition with herself to get a tarmacked road to every villager’s crop field. For if her vision is to feed herself, create employment, attract investment, grow business and trade, etc., all points must connect for overall equitably shared services. Equally important, when road and rail connections to any Indian Ocean or Atlantic Ocean port arrive, as they are definite to, long delays notwithstanding, they should not find her wanting, in matters of road network-connection with neighbouring countries. Sooner than later, the unfocused politics in our region will see the sense of joint hands on deck for continental development A compatriot, with also Ugandan nationality, expresses surprise that Kigali is not in feverish preparations for a big event like hosting CHOGM. Well, friend, CHOGM or none, Kigali is not known for tucking dirt under the carpet on expectation of visitors. Its always clean because its inhabitants, and inhabitants the country over, know cleanliness is good for health. Thus Kigali has no water ponds to empty, no potholes to patch up, nil. It has perennially pampered tarmac and green. Still, brother, don’t be deceived. Kigali is pausing for the convenience of visitors on their itineraries but elsewhere (parts of Kigali, secondary cities and the countryside), work is in frenetic activity as it has always been for the last ten or so years. There are yet untouched backstreets and improvements everywhere to work on. It’s not uncommon for a Rwandan resident to visit a formally familiar area, after some not-so-long time, to get lost and resort to asking their way around, especially in parts of Kigali. And the way Rwanda is determined to develop vertically, I see her road network headed for the sky. This, so as to clear the land for cultivation, seeing as the population is growing fast. No one wants to go hungry because some far-off countries like Russia and Ukraine are tearing out each other’s guts. Model villages are going upwards in the form of storied blocks of flats spreading everywhere. So will factories, amenity buildings and other structures. The road network must follow suit. Which means, say, double carriageways will actually be carrier ways. Instead of multiple wide lanes, these will be storied so that we have roads carrying flyovers over flyovers as highways. Meanwhile, we will be combatting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This means ditching vehicular carbon emitters for e-mobility; electric vehicles and trains. In fact, in the end we’ll be scraping the sky. We will be gliding in aerial cable cars around cities and countrywide. Best African road network and first skyscraper transport, gonna get there!