Plea to Trump: return to spirit of handshake symbol of US aid

World opinion has been unanimous about President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord on climate change. Statements like these, expressing the effect of his decision, have been heard: America relinquishes its leadership of the world; US turns its back...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 12:00 AM

Want to know Rwandans think? Visit social media, listen to radio

Our neighbours in East Africa have a strange perception of Rwandans. They think we are a quiet lot. We never publicly say what is in our hearts or on our minds. We are not excitable and so do not give loud and passionate vent to our emotions. We are going to hear a lot of this in the coming days...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 12:00 AM

Why extreme nationalism must not be allowed to take hold

A few months ago stories had begun to circulate about the imminent demise of globalisation and the liberal world order of the last seventy years. Obituaries were already being written. The slayer was a monster variously called nationalism or populism. For proof of the end of this order, the death...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 12:00 AM

Even 'dull' things like development need smart branding

In the last two weeks, Kigali was host to three important events that seek to shape Africa’s future and its place in the world. The first was a retreat of the Peace and Security Commission (PSC) of the African Union. Looking at the seemingly intractable conflicts in parts of Africa,...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 12:00 AM

Labour Day: Celebrating mindset shift and nation building

Yesterday was International Labour Day and a public holiday. For most people this last bit is the more significant aspect of the day. It is simply a day off from work when you can pretty much do as you please. You can sleep without feeling guilty about it, and when you get up, can laze around or...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 12:00 AM

Need to keep quality even as varsities expand

The last twenty years or so have seen a huge expansion in higher education across Africa. More universities, both public and private, and offering more courses, have been established. Student enrolment is at an all time high. This is certainly true in Rwanda. There are obviously good reasons for...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 12:00 AM

Thoughts on Easter, second coming and state of the world

On Sunday, Christians around the world celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Christ. They thronged houses of worship to mark the event. Rwandans did too as they have done for over a century now. As they celebrate this landmark event in the life of Christianity, they also look to the second coming...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 12:00 AM

Kwibuka and Rwanda’s story a rebuke to forces of darkness

Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi is always a period filled with poignant memories, strong emotions and deep reflection – about the senseless loss of human life and the barbarity that caused it, but also fortitude and the resolve to create a better future. Every year this...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 12:00 AM

Trump alone not to blame for anti-migrant hysteria

Immigration is a word frequently in the news these days. Migrants, whether they are refugees or people in search of a better life, are unwanted in many places, especially by conservatives and racists in Europe and America. American President Donald Trump has been the loudest and most powerful anti...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 12:00 AM

No one should go hungry. There's no excuse

East Africa has been hit by prolonged drought in the last few years, with grave consequences for the region. For instance, pastoralists in northern Kenya have invaded privately-owned ranches in search of water and pasture for their animals. This has created conflict between pastoralists desperate...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 12:00 AM

Is East African integration slowing down?

The question of the spirit and pace of East African integration was prominent at the just ended sitting of the East African Legislative Assembly in Kigali. The members were clearly exasperated by what they considered starvation of funds to the Community by partner states which had severely crippled...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 12:00 AM

The state as catalyst in doing business

The Economist recently ran two articles on Rwanda’s development that drew attention to the role of the investment firm, Crystal Ventures Ltd, in the economic life of the country. The focus was not so much on the firm itself as much as its association with the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)....

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 12:00 AM

Fake news, alternative facts: get used to them. Rwanda has and is alive and well

The Trump era is guaranteed to keep us entertained. There is gaffe after another, daily fights, colourful tweets and demonstrations at home and abroad. It is so much fun, except, of course, that it also leaves the world in a very uncertain situation. The most interesting bit is that the man at the...

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 12:00 AM

Rwanda's quiet revolution beginning to get noticed

It is now a regular happening. We wake up to the news of a new world ranking that places Rwanda among the very best. You would think that by now it should not be news. It is, and for very good reason. The most recent ranking placed Kigali International Airport second best airport in Africa and...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 12:00 AM

Market Made-in-Rwanda, please

“Why do we burden our president with all manner of problems, even those we can solve ourselves?” a friend asked last week. He was referring to President Paul Kagame’s comments about a factory that makes building materials here in Rwanda that many did not know about. The president...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 12:00 AM

Of liberation, history and beauty pageants

Three recent events got me thinking about what our nationals really know about their countries. The first was Liberation Day in Uganda that falls on January 26. On the eve of this year’s celebrations, various news media in Uganda interviewed a number of Kampala residents about what they...

Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 12:00 AM

AU, regional bodies: act on errant leaders to protect citizens

Yahya Jammeh has left Gambia. He didn’t get a hero’s sendoff that he would have dearly loved, but was driven out of town with a gun pointed to his head. Those inclined to belief in the super-natural will say his charms had become ineffective and could no longer keep him in power, or...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 12:00 AM

President Trump and Africa: we won’t matter very much

Barack Obama is out of the White House after eight years occupancy. Donald Trump is the new occupant for the next four years. The two men could not be more apart and their coming to the White House could not have been more different. Obama arrived on a wave of euphoria and unbounded optimism...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 12:00 AM

Rwanda has precious minerals, but beware the resource curse

We are used to this dismissive portrayal of Rwanda. It is a tiny, poor country with no natural resources. Who would be interested in it? It is such a pervasive view that even some Rwandans, including geologists, have come to accept it. But at the same time no one wants to let go of this supposedly...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 12:00 AM

The world is one huge glass house

Americans now realise that we live in a small world, one in which they do not have exclusive right to meddle in other countries’ affairs, and that what they do to others can be done to them. It should be a sobering discovery. The surprising thing, however, is that they are baffled and...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 12:00 AM

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