What will post-truth year look like for Rwanda?

The New Year is finally here. It was welcomed with joy and excitement, and messages of goodwill, at least here in Rwanda. But soon it will be just like all the other years – familiar and uninteresting. The good nature that came with it will soon disappear and the usual routine and meanness...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017, 12:00 AM

2016 has been good year for Rwanda

The headlines read: Volkswagen to set up car assembly plant in Rwanda. That was the big news as the year draws to a close. A fitting way, too, to end 2016 which has generally been a very good year for Rwanda. The VW announcement came to many as really news. There had been no leaks or hints of a...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016, 12:00 AM

Rejoice when the worry is only about prosperity

Human beings have an interesting way of explaining unexpected happenings or their outcomes, especially when they involve radical change that defies conventional wisdom. They call them miracles. This tag is sometimes only a convenient way of dealing with what one does not understand. It is the...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why politics in East Africa is a life and death matter

Celebrations to mark the departure of Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh might have been too early. After conceding defeat, the man has now changed his mind and rejected the outcome of the presidential election. This is more like it. It was perhaps too optimistic to imagine that Jammeh would...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 12:00 AM

France and international justice on trial in quarrel with Rwanda

Relations between Rwanda and France have taken a turn for the worse. For the past twenty-two years, they have not been good anyway. But occasionally there were signs that they might improve. With the recent decision by French authorities to reopen investigations into the plane crash that killed...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 12:00 AM

Plan for droughts or people will eat rats

Climate change has been a topical issue for quite a while. Not all are agreed that it is caused by human activity. Some, including US President-elect Donald Trump, think the whole thing is a hoax. Don’t tell that to people in eastern and southern Africa. They couldn’t care less whether...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 12:00 AM

Trump writing his legacy even before he takes office

Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States. That is a fact. But a week after his election, the world is still trying to come to terms with the fact. Those who did not want him elected or did not give him a chance are still in shock, disbelief or anger. The ones disposed to a Trump...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 12:00 AM

How to save France from being a bully

France continues to live in the past and refuses to countenance a future in which it has a different place, plays a different role and the rules are different. That certainly seems to be the case in its relations with Rwanda over the last two and a half decades. In many ways, the French government...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 12:00 AM

Go tell it on the mountain: Rwanda is the best place for women

Ranking of countries across a wide range of sectors has become accepted practice and a useful measure of a country’s progress. International (and national) organisations and think tanks regularly come up with such rankings. The reports are so important that they have increasingly come to...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 12:00 AM

Coming in from the cold: Morocco returns to Africa

Two countries are making determined efforts to return to Africa. One is, in fact, an African country. Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) 32 years ago over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) to the continental body. Morocco considers SADR (Western...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 12:00 AM

Improving quality of education: look to teachers, too

Two weeks ago, we marked World Teachers’ Day. For most teachers it is the one day in the calendar when they feel they matter. There are one or two others, of course. One is when parents are looking for school places for their children, especially when they have not done well enough to gain...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 12:00 AM

Can you imagine a pious Trump? Well, he has a pastor to pray for him

United States presidential elections always have surprises (wouldn’t be American if they didn’t). But the current one beats them all in its sheer capacity to bewilder. It has thrown up the most unlikely and, according to many, the most unfit candidate for president. The rise and rise (...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 12:00 AM

Of culture, conservation, money and business

Of late, culture is on everyone’s lip. It feels like a revival, although that is not altogether accurate because it is not as if we know nothing about our culture or don’t care about it. We do and are proud of it. Rather we take it for granted. Well, we have a culture, don’t we,...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why Kagame speaks at top world universities

Last week President Paul Kagame spoke at Yale University in the United States on the right of nations, regardless of their size or power, to pursue their legitimate national goals without interference and called for mutual respect between nations. This was the Kagame the world has come to know,...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 12:00 AM

Church got it wrong on contraceptive ban in health centres

The Catholic Church in Rwanda was last week reported to have banned contraceptive services in health centres run by the Church. This stand is not new and is in keeping with the teaching of the Church on the issue of birth control. And in fairness, the Church must be given credit for consistency....

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 12:00 AM

No one recognises Somaliland as an independent state. I don’t get it

I don’t understand the workings of international diplomacy. Some of what I see appears illogical. Most of it involves destroying and then trying to rebuild and destroying again. Or it is about fuelling conflict and then trying to defuse it. Sometimes there is refusal to admit that a country...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 12:00 AM

Smaller nations show route to African unity, prosperity

The Founding Fathers of independent Africa dreamt of a united continent one day. They hoped it would be sooner rather than later. And so they formed the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) as a forum for the attainment of that dream. The OAU made significant gains. But we all know it did not work...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 12:00 AM

Rwandans do laugh. Serious...They even have Made in Rwanda stand-up comedy

Some people have lamented the absence of a lively cultural life in Rwanda. They say whatever little there is is unvaried and unexciting. Where is Rwandan theatre, they ask. Where are the plays, actors and actresses, producers and directors? What about artists and art galleries? And the poets and...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 12:00 AM

Plea to sportsmen and women: be generous losers and gracious victors

The Rio Olympic Games ended on Sunday. The athletes are on their way home, some with medals and many more empty-handed. The media too have packed their cameras and microphones and left. In a way life is returning to normal. Brazilian politicians can now return to their quarrels about power and...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why US is keen to stop ban on used clothes: it is big business

Presidents of East African Community partner states recently announced they were banning imports of used clothes, locally known as caguwa. They gave sound economic reasons for the ban: promoting the local textile industry and other economic activities linked to it, creating jobs, raising taxes, and...

Friday, August 19, 2016, 12:00 AM

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