Rwanda is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that has had a turbulent history. Conflicts, violence and to the extreme, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, never spared the beautiful country.
The revolution spearheaded by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) has made fundamental changes in the country. The country today enjoys the highest security standards, ever recorded in the history of the region in general and in Rwanda in particular.
Internal security is under control 24 hours a day; hence, people’s lives and property are safe. There are of course some ‘isolated’ cases of crimes in some parts of the country.
Such cases are the biggest challenge for the security organs in general and the police in particular, that is supposed to maintain law and order in the society.
Rwanda nonetheless, is not only seen to have silenced the noise of the bullets (wars), but more importantly managed to curb food insecurity.
President Paul Kagame, while addressing a press conference at Village Urugwiro said, “I am happy as the year ends, because there is food security in the country. In fact, we are expecting GDP growth of 10 per cent.”
Some regions in the country that have been synonymous with hanger and famine are relatives harvesting enough food. The districts that were prone to food shortage include Nyagatare, Nyamata, and the former provinces of Gikongoro and Cyangugu.
These fundamental scores in food security survive in one of the worst environment today, of global recession. Nonetheless, Rwanda is still facing some problems that need to be addressed, if the population is to afford two full square meals a day (what is normally measured in terms of dollars one uses a day).
It is in this respect that ‘some’ government officials, who are irresponsible, corrupt and feel that they can embezzle public funds and go scot-free, should not be given space. Greedy people deny any country, development.
The local population too, has to give a big hand in this cause. Though government has the obligation to serve them, they too must help in the implementation of development policies.
A Kinyarwanda proverb has it right that, “You can take a cow to a well, but cannot force it to drink.” Therefore, Rwandans have to develop a positive attitude towards work.
It is high time our people conceptualized the principle; ‘scratch my back and I scratch yours’. Much as the government must serve them, they too have to play their part. It is the kind of attitude for example, that will help us to end the culture of evading taxes.
Tax evasion frustrates government initiatives to promote sustainable development. Otherwise, apart from these obstacles, there is a lot of optimism that the next year 2009, will bring more success in terms of food security.
Food security is prerequisite to sustainable development. It cannot thus be taken for granted. We should also continue to share the understanding that, we cannot realise political security, without having economic development-and food security in particular.