Seventeen years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda, today, stands out as a truly re-born nation. Having been reduced to ashes, even the most optimistic pundits had written off the country as another failed African state.
However, against all odds, the Rwandan people have not only rebuilt what was destroyed by the Genocidal regime, but have since developed the country to a level never seen before.
As the country marks the 17th anniversary of the Genocide, which claimed more than one million lives, a deep feeling of loss and anguish prevails. But, the achievements registered have brought about a renewed sense of collective purpose, pride and hope.
Survivors have sad memories of the Genocide, but most importantly, inspiring stories about how they have since moved on, thanks to the various government policies and programmes that have benefited all Rwandans alike.
Unlike the situation under the Genocidal regimes which were characterized by divisionism and oppression, today, the existing policies guarantee equity.
There is a universal healthcare system and Education for all, among many others. The economy is growing stronger, women are empowered and the livelihood of the people is better than ever.
With the solid foundation that has been laid by the leadership, there is no doubt that Rwanda is destined for a brighter and better future. To maintain the momentum, however, hard work and selflessness should be the norm.