In about two months, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) will be 35 years old, just a little over half the age of independent Rwanda. For the last 28 of these, the RPF has led the government. In that short time, it has had an impact well beyond expectations. It liberated the country from bad politics, stopped the genocide against the Tutsi that all but destroyed to country, and rebuilt it and put it on the road to prosperity. It has transformed Rwanda from a timid, divided, isolated and backward country to a united, confident and assertive one, playing an increasingly significant role in regional and global affairs. The transformation is so visible it has left many in wonder, marvelling at the pace, magnitude and quality of the change that shows no sign of slowing down. You don’t have to look very far for how and why this is so. All you have to do is talk to members of the RPF. They will tell you how this is due to leadership with a vision, keeping the eye on the ball and the goal always in sight. And remaining modest about their achievements, no bragging, always mindful of the enormous work that remains to be done and the long road still to travel. Foreigners speaking to senior RPF cadres at different times and places have marvelled at the conviction and unanimity of responses to the evolution and effectiveness of the RPF. It is because it is true, the result of correct analysis at every step of the way and appropriate action, one such foreigner was told. Or better still, attend one of their meetings. Everything will become clear. Last weekend, from October 21 to 22, 2022 the RPF held its political bureau meeting at its headquarters in Rusororo. For anyone attending for the first time, it was a lesson in how a political organisation keeps engaged with the challenges of the nation, remains on top of them, and drives towards a desired and agreed future. It was a lesson in collective self-examination and recommitment to national goals. As already noted, the RPF has led the government for the last twenty-eight years. No sign of flagging yet. That does not, of course, mean that everything has been perfect. Far from it. The members will be the first to own up to missteps and individual lapses, although sometimes they have to be reminded of their shortcomings. But they do not allow the imperfections to get in the way of progress. This is part of what contributes to the RPF doing right. But there are others, its genesis, for example. It started as a liberation movement, using tested methods of work similar organisations have used, allowing, of course, for specific conditions of each. These have often proved effective in the struggle phase. Key among them are open discussion and self-criticism to correct mistakes and keep on track, and periodic reviews of progress to evaluate the status and when and where necessary adjust course, but always remaining focussed on the goal. It usually works very well during the struggle phase when clarity of objective, discipline and motivation are still very high and absolutely essential. For some movements, maintaining the same focus becomes difficult once they come into power. They fail to adapt the same methods to governance. Remaining in power becomes the new objective. The RPF has been different. It has kept the liberation spirit and some of the methods that work for the government. In this sense it has made a successful transition from the struggle mode to the governance mode and has been able to revitalise itself as they go forward. In some countries, the temptation to entrench the privileges of power and have it monopolised by some has sometimes proved irresistible. The RPF tries to prevent such attitudes developing and taking root. And so there are no little tsars setting up their own small empires and extending patronage to those beholden to them in some way. It does not mean no one tries. They do. Only that such tendencies are not allowed to take hold. Corruption is another vice not permitted to establish roots and grow and also become entrenched. Indeed, there is zero tolerance for corruption and the success of the RPF government is to some degree because it has kept it at a minimum. But it keeps rearing its head. The temptation to amass wealth as quickly as possible, often by illegal means, sometimes proves very strong. And so people will look for shortcuts, cut corners, use the power of their office or even intimidate to get what they want. Every organisation must renew itself in order to keep with the demands of the times and evolving challenges, and remain effective. The RPF has been very good at this, especially through discussions at its meetings and appointments to various posts in government. But perhaps the most visible form of renewal is giving priority to the place and role of the youth in the life of the nation. And not just in the political sphere but also in business and other sectors. The young people have generally not disappointed. Many have taken great social and business initiatives and have very inspiring stories to tell. What’s more, they have their feet, hearts and heads in the right place. Renewal and continuity seem to be assured. And so, the RPF, soon to be 35 and already 28 years in government, is set to continue building on successes it has already chalked up. The views expressed in this article are of the writer.