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

Burundi: Saved by the Coup, again?

By the time you read this, there may or may not have been a real or simulated coup d’état in Burundi. That is because another summit on the ongoing crisis in that country will have taken place in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, and we know that the last time President...

Monday, June 1, 2015, 12:00 AM

The Kigali Conference on the Protection of Civilians: Lives are riding on it

This week Kigali will be host to an international conference that will discuss a subject that is near and dear to Rwandans: the protection of civilians. Rwandans are sensitive when it comes to this subject. And rightly so. Millions were abandoned, left to die. As the Genocide against the Tutsi...

Monday, May 25, 2015, 12:00 AM

Rwanda's Governance Model: Why Home-grown solutions matter

In this column last week I pointed out that Rwanda’s governance model succeeds because it is authentic. By this, I meant that it was constituted to respond to internal challenges the country faced at the time, some of which were, as a matter of fact, existential in nature. Serious matters...

Monday, May 18, 2015, 12:00 AM

Why Rwanda's governance model succeeds

Over the past couple of months a major theme of political discussion in local and regional media has been on Rwanda’s governance system and the actors in it. With news of the breakdown of social order in Burundi, and attendant refugee inflows, this discourse took a comparative form with...

Monday, May 11, 2015, 12:00 AM

Rwanda's experience is tragedy and antidote: Is anyone learning anything?

In this column last week I pointed the practice of politics that is reckless, distracting, and selfish. These, as I noted then, were the manifestations of structural defects that needed urgent reorganisation in such a way as to give way to a brand of politics in which the interests of the...

Monday, May 4, 2015, 12:00 AM

He is running for President, come hell or high water

There it is. President Pierre Nkurunziza was last Saturday nominated for the Presidency for the third time. Whereas his nomination was expected, there was still some suspense because the Burundian Constitution limits a person to two presidential terms. Now, as happened in Burundi, a person can...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 12:00 AM

'Postdicting' Burundi's election'

"Please pray for us," a friend pleaded in a WhatsApp message last week, before sending a picture reference with the captions: "It is getting out of control." It is a picture of law enforcement officers battling a crowd that had poured to the streets to denounce the third term push for...

Monday, April 20, 2015, 12:00 AM

About last night...France wakes up from nightmare

France is a global power. It’s a country with influence in military, economic, and diplomatic terms, and does not shy from using this strength to muscle its way in diplomatic circles in the international community.  Its real claim to fame, however, is its noble origins of libert...

Monday, April 13, 2015, 12:00 AM

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