Inside Kagame's shoes

Dear reader, this is about the unfinished business of ours. A few weeks back, if you recall, we used the metaphor of “Kagame’s shoes" to discuss the expectations that Rwandans have for the presidency of the Republic of Rwanda. We said that whether the person occupying that office will...

Monday, November 30, 2015, 12:00 AM

Burundi after Nkurunziza

Burundi’s embattled President Pierre Nkurunziza is clutching at straws. By Friday evening reports were circulating on social media that he is finally “willing to negotiate and wants immunity after leaving office.” He is probably several months tardy but it is never too late to do...

Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:00 AM

Mother Rwanda, who will protect her?

“I have always thought that those of us,” Professor Taban Lo Liyong, without excluding himself, began to explain the problem of the Western-educated African elite, “were taught to criticise Mother Africa and its leaders.” It is an observation that cannot simply be dismissed...

Monday, November 16, 2015, 12:00 AM

Poverty is not decreasing, let’s cause regime change

You heard the story: ‘Rwanda’s poverty is increasing rather than decreasing.’ The figures that the country has been publishing have all along been ‘doctored’ to paint the image that progress was taking place. Rwanda’s success story is not real. There is no...

Monday, November 9, 2015, 12:00 AM

Who wants to fill Kagame's shoes?

“So you want to fill the shoes of President Kagame?”Asked a Rwandan blogger recently in a series of questions in a popular post. “Oh, are you scared of coming out?” He, at once, asked and declared, “May those who want to succeed Kagame come forward: ‘speak now,...

Monday, November 2, 2015, 12:00 AM

Rwanda ties: Why Germany gets it

Developing countries, especially those in Africa, find themselves in a pickle. They have to choose partners among the most developed countries, with such relationships being crucial in a number of fronts: economic, diplomatic, and military, etc. Such ties help to inform foreign policy decisions of...

Monday, October 19, 2015, 12:00 AM

Why DR Congo is 'special'

Niger’s Maman Sidikou is the new UN Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, appointed Dr Sidikou to replace Germany’s Martin Kobler making him the political head of MONUSCO, the peacekeeping force whose mandate is to bring...

Monday, October 12, 2015, 12:00 AM

The dog ate my homework ... and other vices that handed education to the canines

Education is a sensitive matter that evokes deep emotions. The feelings this arouses are often because education has the potential to impact one’s life chances. Nonetheless, we have often been satisfied with leaving it to the ‘professionals’ to discuss during policy forums,...

Monday, October 5, 2015, 12:00 AM

Public space remains slippery for women

In this column last week it was argued that women face shifting standards when it comes to accessing high political power. However, prejudice against women goes beyond politics; It is a lived reality that stretches in other arenas of their professional life. In the business world, for instance, the...

Monday, September 28, 2015, 12:00 AM

Anyone, except a woman

Hillary Rodham Clinton must be scratching her head. She doesn’t quite know what she needs to do to become the president of the United States of America, a dream she has apparently nursed since her days as First Lady (FLOTUS). Of course, first she needs to secure nomination by her political...

Monday, September 21, 2015, 12:00 AM

KK's arrest and Uhuru's ICC case: Calibrating Pan-Africanism

I recently received a phone call. On the other end was a whispering voice: why aren’t you at the meeting, he asked. I informed the caller that I was not aware of any meeting that I needed to attend at that particular time. To this he continued to whisper: “Pan-Africanism.” I said...

Monday, September 14, 2015, 12:00 AM

What the President’s tweet says about democracy in Rwanda

A hot debate has been raging on social media regarding the decision by the City of Kigali to declare a major downtown street a Car Free Zone. I have stayed out of it and intend to continue doing so.  I want, however, to talk about the significance of the tweet that the President sent out...

Monday, September 7, 2015, 12:00 AM

What happens to a decolonised mind?

I had been waiting for a friend to debrief on a matter of mutual interest when I overheard a conversation at a popular café in one of the Kigali neighbourhoods. I simply took it for granted that whatever the young people were discussing was likely to be of little interest to me because,...

Monday, August 31, 2015, 12:00 AM

Meles Zenawi: Why we must remember this intellectual giant of our times

If there was one take away from the Meles Zenawi Symposium on Development, held last week in Kigali, it was this: Meles Zenawi - the deceased Prime Minister of Ethiopia - was a man of ideas. Africa’s cachexia – as understood by Zenawi and comrades Paul Kagame, Thabo Mbeki, and Olusegun...

Monday, August 24, 2015, 12:00 AM

Catch me if you can: The invisible middle of the Imihigo rankings

If you have been around this town for a while and have been paying attention to national politics and matters of development then you know that this is a very sensitive time of the year for our district mayors, with the source of their anxiety –and perhaps insecurity – built around the...

Monday, August 17, 2015, 12:00 AM

Obama will have more freedom but less power to do the needed work

A fortnight ago President Barack Obama completed what some have termed his “Africa Lecture Series.” They began in Ghana and Egypt in 2009 then moved to South Africa, Senegal, and Tanzania two years ago, before he moved on to Kenya, the land of his father’s birth, and finally to...

Monday, August 10, 2015, 12:00 AM

Rwanda's GBV fight subverted by socio-cultural forces

I have decided to follow up on the story told last week in this column of a young girl who, some years back, fell victim to sexual assault. Readers were empathic for the welfare of the child in question and were concerned that she receives adequate care and justice. They pointed to policy questions...

Monday, June 29, 2015, 12:00 AM

Raped at 13, soldiering on ...

She was only 13 years old. As she was returning home from watching a movie in the local cinema, a man in his mid 20s approached her with what he said was a message from her mother who, the man claimed, had sent him to inform her that she was needed immediately at their small family farm. The girl...

Monday, June 22, 2015, 12:00 AM

Reactions to the BBC's sanctioning expose Western hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is the most enduring feature of the relationship between developing and developed countries. It has been very much on display of late, following the decision by the Rwanda Utilities Regulation Agency (RURA) to suspend indefinitely the Kinyarwanda Service of the British Broadcasting...

Monday, June 15, 2015, 12:00 AM

University students are plagiarising? Say it ain’t so

A highly popular news story last week was about the plight of five university students under investigation by a disciplinary committee in one of our universities. The crime: plagiarism. However, a closer reading of the piece points to a number of questions about the state of our higher education...

Monday, June 8, 2015, 12:00 AM

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