Remittances don’t change nations, patriotism does

Editor,THIS IS with reference to Junior Sabena Mutabazi’s article, “Can we rely on young Africans in the Diaspora?” (The New Times, January 17).

Editor,

THIS IS with reference to Junior Sabena Mutabazi’s article, “Can we rely on young Africans in the Diaspora?
” (The New Times, January 17).

It’s a good read. I happen to be a good Bible reader, and you never get more wisdom than reading the Book of Proverbs.

Straight to the subject matter, Proverbs 22.6 reads; “Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Many factors will determine on whether we should rely on young Rwandans in the Diaspora for foreign exchange remittances. But key among these, which is my focus, is how has a typical Rwandan been trained.

Since I am not a social scholar but a believer in King Solomon’s book of wisdom, I will focus at what a typical Rwandan has been trained to be/to do. All the social, political and economic upheavals of Rwanda revolve around almost one key factor: Rwandans wanting to come back home.

Rwandans will go to other countries and stay for decades but still maintain their language and culture. Millions of Rwandans who went to DR Congo in the 90s eventually returned and settled, save for a few who had ulterior motives well known to all Rwandans.

Besides all this all is well in Rwanda, and independent indices keep showing that Rwanda is second best investment destination in Africa.

Back to Solomon’s wisdom. Most Rwandans who went for studies in Europe were trained on what to do and what we constantly listen from President Paul Kagame.

We have been in countries where parents teach their children to pray for visas to the US, and where children who speak their mother tongues are despised. What do you expect from such a child when they get the so-called green card?

But that is not Rwanda. Recently, President Kagame emphasised the point that “Rwandans should be proud of what they are”.

Foreign exchange remittances cannot build a country. A country is built by patriotism, zero-tolerance to corruption, and strong and robust economic strategies.

I however salute all those Rwandans who have a sense of patriotism, and who will remit their dollars and pounds back home.

James Munanura, Makerere University Kampala, Uganda

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