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Let's Stop Blaming the West for 'Rwandan Magic' Problem


This weekend has witnessed a vigorous push-back by Kagame’s enthusiasts. One of their key line, which has now become quite familiar, is that there is a coordinated onslaught on Rwanda by western media and academics which started with casting doubt on the accuracy of data that shows Rwanda’s progress on poverty reduction and economic growth. Then they ice it up with an even more tired line. That Western academics and media cannot contend with the fact that a small country that just 25 years ago nearly went into oblivion (this must always be the punchline), consistently defies their very low expectations of Africa. Listen people, Africa’s and indeed any part of this world does not need its development validated by the West or anybody. You simply need to take a tour of Rwanda and listen to the Rwandans especially those scattered in the region and abroad to have an informed opinion and perhaps agree that the so called ‘Rwandan miracle’ is problematic. In fact, the amount of money that Kagame is getting in aid does not seem to match the actual development that he dangles. It does not mean there are no good things happening in Rwanda but let’s not overplay whatever is going on there. There is no miracle that is happening in Rwanda. Besides, there is sufficient evidence on the many social, political and economic ills in Rwanda which run contra-the so called miracle. Let's not foreclose every debate about and on Rwanda just because 1994 happened. 1994 was tragic; it should never have happened; it must never be allowed to happen ever again not in Rwanda not anywhere. But we must talk about Rwanda just as we talk about any society. It is never unreasonable; not insensitive to keep reminding ourselves that there is a way that Kagame and his enthusiasts are milking this historical tragedy and that we are free (at least outside Rwanda) to have an opinion too. By the way, even as we keep reminding the world about 1994 and the mistake of others especially the West, I have never quite understood why everybody else except Rwandans must be blamed for what happened. Even the West has had its historical tragedies; these things are not unique to Rwanda and/or Africa. Let’s stop this madness, learn from the past and shape the futures that we want. We are not going to develop these futures by mystifying and deifying certain individuals like Kagame and/or rendering some societies like Rwanda, the untouchables. It does not work this way; it must not be allowed to work this way.

Let's Stop Blaming the West for 'Rwandan Magic' Problem Let's Stop Blaming the West for 'Rwandan Magic' Problem  Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on August 19, 2019 Rating: 5

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