The prosperity and high quality of life for all Rwandans, is what the Vision 2050 seeks to achieve, as per the document for this national strategy for transformation. Among other aims, Rwanda has targets to eliminate poverty, from the 38 per cent rate in 2017. According to the Vision 2050 document, the overarching goals for this Vision include economic growth and prosperity. Here, Rwanda aspires to become an upper-middle income country by 2035, where the target is to realise a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of over $4,036 (over Rwf4.3 million based on the current exchange rates); and a high-income country by 2050, with GDP per capita of over $12,476 (over 13.4 million). Data from the International Monetary Fund indicate that Rwanda’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was $912.74 (about Rwf985,000, based on the current exchange rates), as of 2022. The GDP targets imply that the average income per Rwandan will be over four times, and over 13 times the current one by 2035 and 2050, respectively. In an interview with The New Times, (TNT) Nicolas Rwaka, Director of Research at the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honour (CHENO), talked about heroism and why it is important to the realisation of Vision 2050 targets, underscoring the role of unity, transparency to that end. Here are excerpts: TNT: Considering heroism in the context of Rwanda, what is its significance to the country? Rwaka: Heroism is among the great values that are important to the country’s existence and development. It contributed to building Rwanda since its creation, because a country without those who sacrifice their lives for it goes extinct. It is the heroic value that has been getting our country rid of calamities, because there were people who risked their lives for the benefit of the public. TNT: Rwanda seeks to become an upper-middle income country by 2035, and a high-income country by 2050. What role does heroism have in regards to achieving that target? Rwaka: The first contribution is through mindset change, because we instil heroism values in people with a view to change mentality in terms of behaviours, morals, and the way they act. Mindset change is needed to ensure that Rwandans move with the country’s vision, and help the Government to realise it. We will continue to teach them heroism, so that they are characterised by the value of being punctual, and deliver good service and quality work. As work is crucial to a person’s life, we also want the value of quality work. If we have Rwandans who work well, for the interests of the public. For the development of their country, we will be assured that we will have quality work in the Vision 2050. TNT: Corruption has been, and continues to be, a threat to inclusive development, as it deprives some people of their rights to crucial support, while allowing unfair benefits to others. How can heroism contribute to addressing such an issue towards Vision 2050 goal attainment? Rwaka: Among the values that we teach in heroism, there is avoiding all those vices that derail the country’s development, including corruption and injustice. This is the case because heroism is intended for the development of the country. Therefore, we shun anything that is against that. That is why we put in place continuous awareness campaigns, either through radio and television, and set up cultural and heroism clubs in primary and secondary schools, so that our children grow up espousing heroic values, doing what is right and steer clear of what is wrong or evil. A person who loves their country – as one of the values of heroism – cannot tolerate a situation where people take bribes, where injustice is committed against people, where people are oppressed, or people remain in poverty. In the Vision 2050, we want that heroism value and the unity of Rwandans reign among all the categories of Rwandans. TNT: Which is the area where caution should be exercised, or should be given attention so that the envisaged heroism goal is achieved? Rwaka: The first thing that should be given attention is relentless efforts in teaching and encouraging people to uphold the Rwandan culture, especially heroic values. The reason for this is that if this is not done, we might backslide. The second thing to focus on is the culture of recognising and rewarding those who performed heroic deeds. That is why the people on which we carry out research, there are those who get decorations of honour because of their great deeds. Indeed, that should be integrated in our culture in order to recognise what is right, and condemn the wrong, because what devastated Rwanda is that [some] people let the wrong reign. Even, the genocide against the Tutsi [in 1994] occurred because there were people who endorsed the evil, instead of standing up against it. What is most important is that Rwandans, especially the youth, should emulate the good example given by the national heroes who founded Rwanda, and built it, such that we are honouring them up to now because of their deeds. People should understand that they should serve their country instead of selfish interests. That would help Rwandans to make progress, and achieve the Vision 2050.