The transition to 2009 comes with many triumphs, especially on the economic front, which were registered in 2008 despite the global tragedies like the food crisis, the surging financial crisis; and locally the most recent, withdrawal of aid by some so called Western democracies over a baseless ‘UN Experts’ report.
Rwanda, unlike other regional countries, survived both the food and the financial crisis, which were feared would have a negative impact on Rwanda by for instance, reducing the flow of remittances into the country and decrease the number of tourists.
Here, instead the opposite has happened because remittances have steadily increased while the number of tourists increased by over 30 percent with the Tourism Office, making projections of an increase in tourism -- notwithstanding the crisis.
The government has also showcased its ability to stand its ground by not kneeling to beg for mercy, like any other developing country would do, after the announcement that both Sweden and The Netherlands were withdrawing their aid.
Instead, government was quick to assure Rwandans that there was no cause for alarm as funds would be drawn from the reserve fund to cover any deficit that may arise from the withdrawn aid.
Regardless of this however, Year 2009 has come with some challenges but which can be overcome with cooperation of all the stakeholders.
One of these is the fuel crisis that has ensued in the region despite a general fall of oil prices on the global market, a crisis that was not of Rwanda’s making but brought about by its geographical location- - being landlocked.
Now that the government has played its part by sacrificing the much needed revenue through cutting taxes on fuel importation by over 59 percent, let the local dealers be patriotic and play their part by making the necessary sacrifices to ensure that this problem does not derail the pace of development on which we have embarked.