An academic and researcher, Herman Musahara, has described Rwanda as a success model in fostering, promoting and exporting peace and development.
Musahara was part of a team of researchers that presented draft findings on peace and development in seven case studies of states experiencing or emerging from conflicts.
Other findings covered Mozambique, Colombia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Bosnia.
Officiating at the one-day workshop held in Kigali on May 29, public service minister Anastase Murekezi, said Rwanda’s genocide experience dictates that sustainable development is not possible without peace.
“Lack of peace and good governance can be very costly,” he said, adding that Rwanda offers lessons on hope, vision and focus in leadership.
Murekezi thanked the organizers for providing a forum where under-developed nations can share experiences and forge a multi disciplinary approach to research and conflict resolution.
Presenting findings on Rwanda together with fellow researcher, Natalie Nyirabega, Musahara said the country had “ably transformed from a genocide situation to a peace model worth replicating in the region.”
The two scholars are senior lecturers at the National University of Rwanda.
Rwanda was placed alongside Bosnia and Mozambique as countries having relatively stable post-conflict arrangements with positive economic outcomes.
Sudan and Sri Lanka were blamed for prolonged lack of stable power sharing arrangements with negative economic outcomes, while Colombia and Lebanon were categorizes as intermediate cases of conflict and democracy.
Rwanda was particularly praised for integrating home grown participatory approaches like Ubudehe and Gacaca into modern systems to transform the nation.
The current leadership was credited for championing reforms that include power-sharing mechanisms through the Forum for Political Parties with rotational leadership, reconciliation, gender balance and unity through Ingando solidarity forums that are geared towards eradicating inequality and a culture of impunity.
Good Aid for Africa
Re-echoing President Paul Kagame’s stand on Aid, the researchers said Africa requires good aid to boost development.
Musahara excited the audience when he said that Rwanda’s success is not entirely supported by foreign Aid, but also due to dedicated leadership, deliberate mobilizing of internal resources, curbing corruption and kick-starting reforms in priority sectors.
“Many states have received similar or more aid, but continue to fail…some of the Aid to Rwanda was directed not to budgetary support or development activities, but towards supporting refugees and genocide suspects outside the country,” Musahara said, adding that some aid could have fueled the genocide.
Contributing to the discussion, Maj. Gen Karenzi Karake, the outgoing deputy force commander of the UNAMID, said Rwanda’s trick to success included “managing external forces that wanted to dictate its path to development.”
The event was co- organized by Rwanda Governance Advisory Council, McGill University and the National University of Rwanda.