Kimonyo launches book on Rwanda’s transformation

Jean-Paul Kimonyo, author of “Transforming Rwanda – Challenges On The Road To Reconstruction” speaks during the launch of his book at Kigali Public Library on May 10, 2019. / Nadege Imbabazi.

Renowned Rwandan author and researcher Dr Jean-Paul Kimonyo on Thursday launched his latest book, ‘Transforming Rwanda: Challenges on the Road to Reconstruction.’

The book is the translated version of his French book ‘Rwanda demain! Une longue marche vers la transformation’, released last year.

The book provides extensive insights into the transformation of Rwanda, right from the 1959 pogroms when thousands fled the country up, through the post-Genocide reconstruction of the last two-and-a-half decades.

Speaking at the launch, Kimonyo noted that while the book compliments his previous book, it gives a detailed account of the destruction caused by the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and how the people of Rwanda have since rebuilt their country.

“Our generation has had two important events; one being very tragic and the other being the transformation of the country,” Kimonyo said. “I started writing this book in 2014 around the time the country marked the 20th commemoration of the Genocide, I realised that, at the time, there was nothing of substance that was written about the reconciliation process.”  

There were some testimonies of the people who were prime actors in the construction process but there wasn’t a comprehensive analysis on the reconstruction process, he said. “What motivated me really was that I witnessed many of those steps and I felt that the young generation needed to know.”

The book also highlights the challenge of refugees who had been banished to exile and barred from returning home by fascist regimes before the post-Genocide government came to power and extended open arms to all Rwandan refugees to return home.

The book also tackles the challenges the governing Rwanda Patriotic Front faced in fighting corruption among its own members.

Kimonyo added: “This book is more of my story than about the Genocide, although there was also need to do deeper research and, in the process, I discovered a lot more about the country that I love.”

Kimonyo is also author of another book ‘Rwanda: Un génocide populaire’ published in 2008.