The aim of this article is to stimulate Rwandans to think about how Rwanda might succeed. I do believe that Rwanda will do so, but to ensure this success, we must think of how to go about it tirelessly. I believe that this is Rwanda’s decade, and the next ten years will define Rwanda’s long-term future.
Skeptics are currently but slowly siding with Kigali 15 years after they had written us off –Rwandan leadership, resilience and self belief has been instrumental in this change. We Rwandans must now ask ourselves, “can we take this one step further, and be considered a ‘successful country’?”
Rwanda has enjoyed the best years of governance in the last decade, with no signs of slowing down, something very few countries in the African continent can proudly mention - CEO’s, evangelists, scholars, news anchors, and other experts believe there is something unique happening in Rwanda.
The socio-economic fabric of Rwandans looks tighter than at any other period in Rwanda’s history, and it is these elements that we need to uphold if Rwanda is to be successful.
On the other hand, I have been lucky enough to interact with a cross-section of current Rwandan leaders, and have often been worried by their inconsistent sense of urgency; the senior-most level has a pressing sense of urgency, but the lower level do not have the same urgency.
There is, however, a new wave of emerging Rwandan leaders, one that has been educated in top global universities: young, energetic, and bursting with a desire to participate in defining the country’s growth and development agenda, and returning home at an unprecedented pace.
And although their impact is currently at a modest scale, with time, this impact will grow; their sense of urgency reflects that of our current senior leaders.
Also impressive is the fact that this batch of emerging leaders is the opposite of many of their seniors, who seem so entitled, and spend much time protecting their jobs rather than “getting the job done;” as a result of this incompetence, these seniors seem to be all ending in prison.
In a nutshell, Rwanda’s prospects- rooted in strong senior leadership and a talented group of up-and-coming new leaders- are definitely looking more positive than ever.
But we should not relax, as the struggle for survival and social improvement will be an eternal one for Rwanda. The few successes that the country has had, however, may carry a message of hope – unlike most African countries, Rwandan leaders have a lot to prove because the odds have always been against us.
This is definitely Rwanda’s decade – it is unfolding positively and it is now the time for all of its leaders to act alongside President Kagame.
If Rwanda makes the right strategic investments at this stage, it could reap rich dividends. If it does not, I am afraid we will miss many golden opportunities and worse still, damage our own long term development agenda – success is the only option.