EDITORIAL: There is reason to be optimistic about the future

Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, yesterday welcomed its one billionth passenger. No one would have seen that 20 years ago, but it gives one an idea of what is behind that success; excellent service.

Anyone who has passed through that airport can vouch for that: But on to a matter closer to home.

Rwandan trade officials were full of excitement last week when it was announced that the second edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) would be held in Rwanda in 2020.

One was left wondering what the big deal was as many continental gatherings have taken place here in the past without ruffling feathers. But a big deal it was.

When the trade fair came to a close, it was announced that over a 100 deals had been struck worth over $32 billion, and that was just in a space of one week. On top of that, over 1,000 exhibitors from 45 countries took part in the fair, a significant boost to the tourism sector.

Rwanda’s choice to hold the event was also a statement of sorts that the country is safely settling in as one of the MICE destinations of choice on the continent.

2020 promises to be a busy year as far as international gatherings are concerned. It is the same year that Rwanda will be hosting the Commonwealth Heads of States and Governments, nine years after joining the organization.

Rwanda’s organisational flair has been improving year in year out and no doubt the trend is bound to continue. Hopefully, Bugesera International Airport will be ready to handle the huge traffic, even though it handles roughly about a million passengers annually, a far cry from Dubai.

But there is reason to be optimistic.

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