African delegates reflect on Rwanda's journey 25 years after Genocide against Tutsi

Col Jill Rutaremara, the Director of Rwanda Peace Academy speaks at a past event. Delegates at the conference will identify challenges to the ongoing socioeconomic and political transformation of Rwanda. (File)

About 100 delegates from several African countries are meeting in Kigali for a conference aimed at evaluating the progress Rwanda has made since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. 

The meeting, titled "Rwanda's Journey Towards Sustainable Peace - 25 Years", was jointly organised by the Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) Nyakinama, the Government of Japan, and the UNDP.

According to Col Jill Rutaremara, the Director of RPA, the delegates will, among others, identify the challenges to the ongoing socioeconomic and political transformation in the country, and come up with strategies on how to further sustainable peace. 

It is hoped that, at the end of the two-day conference, participants will have a broad understanding of the “difficult road” the country travelled to get to where it is today.

Participants are from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, and hosts Rwanda.

After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in which more than one million innocent lives were slaughtered in three months, the entire country was a wreck in all aspects.

Besides the loss of life, the infrastructure and economy were in ruin.

However, Rwanda has since turned itself around in many aspects with the country embarking on a broad range of transformational strategies across all domains, including security, business and socioeconomic development.

Today, the World Bank Group ranks Rwanda as one of the easiest places to do business globally.

Last year the Group ranked Rwanda 29th in the world in ease of doing business, with the country retaining its second position in Africa.

In terms of the economy, post-Genocide Rwanda's growth has averaged 7 per cent annually for more than 10 years.

The country has also made significant strides in a raft of social indicators, with life expectancy increasing from 31 years a quarter a century ago to 69 years, higher than for most regional countries.

Poverty has been halved over the last two decades – now at less than 40 per cent of the population – and healthcare access is now over 80 per cent thanks in large part to a universal health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Sante, rolled out several years ago.

Tremendous gains were also registered in education, security, agriculture, infrastructure development, among others.