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Rwanda's Economic Miracle is a Lie


Many people, in their sweet bubble always dangle Rwanda, under Paul Kagame, as a shining example of some miraculous model of ‘progress’ for an African country that it is not. Rwanda under Kagame is a big lie. The level of crony capitalism that is Rwanda is one of the worst in Africa. For example, Crystal Ventures Ltd. (CVL), which is arguably the biggest Rwanda corporate conglomerate and which is directly linked to Kagame has multiple monopolies in nearly all sectors of Rwandan economy including concrete products, construction, real estate development, telecommunications, agriculture, aviation, security services, printing and publishing, furniture trading, manufacturing, property management and engineering. 

But only a few of us have kept screaming that Rwanda under Kagame is a lie but the rest including its donors keep pumping in money, most of it only ending up massaging Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)’s crony capitalism under directly supervisory of and benefit to Kagame. Rwanda still has the highest foreign aid per capita in East Africa and its donors seem to be too willing to pump in more. They seem to have settled on the proverbial Faustian bargain; trading democracy for development but the truth is that the likelihood of ending up with neither is very high until and unless Kagame opens up the Rwanda economy, which he does not have the will to do because it will go hand in hand with opening up governance. The sphere of open governance is one that Kagame loathes simply because he is a dictator per excellence who can’t be questioned. Worse still, he dominates the economy away from successfully creating and sustaining an atmosphere of anxiety. These conditions are never known to support economic growth anywhere because in their nature, people do work better and are productive when they live and operate in an environment of freedom, not fear. The plain truth is that there are no economic opportunities for a majority of Rwandan citizens in Rwanda. Last time I checked, only about 500,000 Rwandans against a population of over 5 million, were in gainful employment. Rwandan young men are now languishing in Uganda since Museveni started his silly crackdown (which must be condemned with strongest terms possible) but the few I have interacted with seem willing to face Uganda’s hostility that return to Rwanda because there are simply no opportunities for them in Rwanda. Rwanda’s development ‘miracle’ is a lie; the Rwanda economy is an enclave that is under Kagame’s tight grip. Plus, he is not leaving power any time soon now that he has hypnotized his supporters and admirers and made them believe he is not only but also the only liberator/saviour.

Rwanda's Economic Miracle is a Lie Rwanda's Economic Miracle is a Lie Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on July 09, 2019 Rating: 5

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