When the genocide happened in 1994 almost the whole world gave up on Rwanda. All the pundits and those observing from the peripheral were saying Rwanda would never recover but it got an organised group of the RPF led by Paul Kagame. I see Paul Kagame in the right footsteps of Lee Kuan Yew, who was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for three decades. The long time in the scenario of Rwanda doesn’t matter to me because the three decades Lee finished were of delivering service and Paul Kagame hasn’t faltered the trend for Rwanda. I therefore call him the Lee Kuan Yew of Africa and we can talk about the consistence of RPF as regards to the following sectors that are essential to the development of Rwanda.
Agriculture I know like any other community during the genocide you lost a lot of your agricultural produce and potential this was both for crop and animal husbandry. I also know that animals were lost mainly cows however, following the implementation of the government’s ‘one cow per family programme’ in 2006, the cattle population has grown and milk production has more than doubled in the past years, triggering investments in milk collection and processing facilities. Milk production has more than doubled!
The traditional crops like Bananas, plantains, cassava, beans, maize, sweet potatoes, wheat and rice have also been improved. Tea and coffee growing are also improving and they make up make up the majority of export earnings, with quality improving in both sectors. We can’t forget Horticulture crops (avocado, tomato, cabbage, leek), pyrethrum, and skins are also exported. There are clear statistics and signs in the pockets of Rwandans that since 2007, agricultural production has doubled, improving food security, and the poverty rate has decreased from 57 to about 40 per cent.
All these are backed by a government that works for every one For example Rwanda is one of the few African countries that have really focused on agricultural development as a way to boost growth and reduce poverty. In 2007, for example, Rwanda was one of the first countries in Africa to adopt the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process, resulting in increased investment in the agriculture sector and subsequent increases in productivity and production
Rwandan leadership is doing the above with the knowledge that climate change is a problem therefore to ensure its stability and prosperity in a future of changing climate by 2050, Rwanda’s National Strategy for Climate Change and Low Carbon Development recommends actions that Rwanda can take. The Strategy calls for agricultural production to be increased through sustainable means, including the use of organic waste to improve soil fertility and reduce dependency on external inputs. To adapt to climate change and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services and Rwanda has proudly adhered to this.
Tourism As security in Rwanda improves, the country’s nascent tourism sector shows great potential to expand as a source of foreign exchange. Rwanda is beautiful and can offer offers tourists a one of a kind journey home to one third of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa’s bird species, several species of primates, volcanoes, game reserves, resorts and islands on the expansive Lake Kivu, graceful dancers, artistic crafts and friendly people.
This can be backed by the fact that Rwanda is safe country with one of the lowest crime rates in Africa. All major attractions are located along within 1-5 hour drive from the capital therefore in a very short period tourists can go see volcanoes, rainforests, savannah, islands, lakes and the beautiful city of Kigali. In addition to the above and having a very good network the same RPF leadership has started an airline Rwanda air that feeds into this tourism sector and I am sure they can do much.
Health Healthcare in Rwanda was historically of poor quality, but in recent decades has seen great improvement. Rwanda operates a universal health care system, and is considered to have one of the highest-quality health systems in Africa I think that the leadership of the RPF has gained much as regards to health for Rwanda follows a universal health care model, which provides health insurance through a system called Mutuelles de Santé. The system is a community-based health insurance scheme, in which residents of a particular area pay premiums into a local health fund, and can draw from it when in need of medical care. Premiums are paid according to a sliding scale, with the poorest members of society entitled to use the service for free, while the wealthiest pay the highest premiums and are charged co pays for treatment
Education and ICT. I am joining the two that appear not be related because for Rwanda they are related which is the fact for ICT is the way to go and Rwanda gives it to its children right away from Primary school on wards. Minus free education at both secondary and primary level Rwanda is improving its quality of education. For example one laptop per child (OLPC) is a non-profit initiative established with the goal of transforming education for children around the world; this goal was to be achieved by creating and distributing educational devices for the developing world, and by creating software and content for those devices.
This automatically fits in its primary goal continues to be to transform education, by enabling children have access to content, media and computer-programming environments
This therefore equips the young children and generations to come to fit into Rwanda’s Vision 2020 and the Smart Rwanda Master Plan, Rwanda envisions becoming a cashless economy by 2020; with all government financial transactions done electronically and via mobile phones by 2018. This is being achieved because Rwanda has a good government in place.
Like any other economy that is well aware of the benefits that underlie a cashless economy, Government has for the past decade invested a lot to ensure that Rwanda’s vision of a cashless economy becomes a reality.
Rwanda continues to be one of the fastest growing African countries in ICT and there are several avenues for growth for the ICT sector – from e-commerce and e-services, mobile technologies, applications development and automation to becoming a regional centre for the training of top quality ICT professionals and research. A robust ICT industry can create wealth, jobs and entrepreneurs, something I expect that the RPF government with its able leadership will deliver.