LETTERS: Home or abroad, you can help develop your country

Patriotism should not pit one group of Rwandans against another. Worth, contribution or effort, self or national, is not something that needs to be defended.

Editor,

RE: “Contribution of Rwandan Diaspora: Setting the record straight” (The New Times, September 15).

 

Patriotism should not pit one group of Rwandans against another. Worth, contribution or effort, self or national, is not something that needs to be defended.

 

If you have it, you don’t have to advertise. If you are in the Diaspora and have no idea what your worth is or your value to your family or nation then that’s a problem you can resolve with a career coach or social worker. Likewise, if you are in Rwanda and you feel the need to argue that the Diaspora is not doing their part, you are better off focusing on your own input.

 

Why do we have a Diaspora in the first place? Many people choose not to return to Africa for various reasons.

Economically, whether they are cleaning toilets or building bridges in Europe, they have assessed their financial positions before in Africa and after while overseas and the numbers have indicated that they are better off overseas.

No blog post, news article or world report can convince someone making much more than what they were making before to return to their old job or country.

Politically, many people flee the continent for real and perceived threats to their lives, and again, no blog post and news article can convince them better than the threats they may have encountered.

So what is the real value or relevance of this debate? What is the solution?

Instead of urging the entire Diaspora to return home, some individuals would say, “Look, I have a job for you, it pays the equivalent of £5,000, I think this is better than what you are currently making; would you consider returning home?” And then see if they reject that kind of offer.

Same thing can be done about politics and security. Otherwise blanket statements founded in a warped sense of patriotism are of no value or relevance to the Diaspora and those at home.

Leaving one’s country is a very personal choice.

James Park

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