Come February, investors in Musanze District will be unveiling a dream-come-true fruit of their belief and tenaciousness in the form of a modern market.
The Rwf7 billion market boasts of over 2000 stands for big and small traders, offices for commercial banks and other businesses.
The market has all the hallmarks of modernity: from an underground parking and stores to a water recycling system, and facilities for people with disabilities, this is a dream-come-true.
But remarkably, it is the fruits of a people that believed that coming together to pool resources toward elevating their socio-economic status was the best step toward self-reliance.
88 members of a local investment company pooled resources and amassed up to Rwf2.5 billion, secured a Rwf4.5 billion loan and dared to dream. The reality is now before them in the shape of a truly magnificent infrastructure that will last generations to come.
From a local’s perspective, this is testament that self-reliance is not a gospel that can only be found in a politician’s gospel, but a dream that every Rwandan can live by working for and towards it. It doesn’t come on a silver platter; there might be some sweat and sacrifices, but at the end of the day, with proper planning and management, it is doable, regardless of the specifics a people choose to pursue.
The Musanze market, for instance. Where in many cases locals would have waited for the Government or development partners to remit funding for such a big project, the locals decided that it was their burden to shoulder for their own good. And they have pulled it off. This might not be a small feat, but certainly it isn’t one that cannot be emulated in other sectors across the country.
What the people need is to believe. This first step is cardinal upon local leaders. Musanze market might be an inspiration, but servant leadership is what will point the people toward that kind of feat and awaken them to the reality that, they too, can do it.
Self-reliance is not a political pep talk but a reality every Rwandan can live. The people need inspiration, trust and sense of direction and they can pull it off on various fronts.