The last decade stands out as the most successful period ever recorded in Rwandan history. Hundreds of Thousands of Rwandans are being lifted out of absolute poverty every year. It is fair to say that Rwanda has finally got it. At the heart of this transformation is good governance and a very well run market system.
Seventeen years is hardly a significant span of time. Yet in just this short period, Rwanda has transformed from a young nation coping with the challenges of reconstruction after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, to a thriving and vibrant economy. We can now marvel at our many accomplishments and accolades, and celebrate our journey.
But, Rwanda’s major challenge in the 21st century is its ability to remain competitive in an ever changing world. This is a perennial development challenge. This coupled with the harsh reality that, despite Rwanda’s success and its ability to stand out as a sovereign, independent, and successful country, we are constantly targeted and vilified by external state and non-state actors, who have their own special interests.
In the face of these complexities, Rwandans should always aim to stay ahead by anticipating problems and opportunities. It is, therefore, important for each successor generation of Rwandans to acknowledge these complexities and create their solutions to problems of the day, and seize new opportunities in an ever-changing world. We must, therefore, continue to take the broad and long-term view to lay the groundwork for the challenges of the future, because we cannot afford to focus on short term gains.
As such, it is important we remain competitive by maintaining a commitment to excellence in whatever we do, as well as observing an unwavering dedication to serving the country at all levels. Without these core values, policy frameworks, pro-development strategies and new concepts would only be the hollow shell of governance – lots of noise but little substance.
We all know that our country’s success is as a result of all Rwandans pulling together as one team; collectively we must all share and celebrate our journey. We have arrived at where we are today through the toil of many generations of Rwandans, rich and poor, professionals and labourers, educated and uneducated, from all walks of life.
But, as a key task and in order to sustain this success, it is important that we continue identifying and filling our ranks with men and women, who will lead by example, live by the values mentioned above daily, and manifest an unwavering commitment to serve Rwanda and Rwandans. Rwanda should indeed have the right people in charge – an able, committed team coming forward to lead the country and take responsibility for the future.
We are a nation where each Rwandan is counted as a valuable citizen. A nation that is respected the world over for not just its efficient and clean government, but for the kindness and generosity of its people and leaders. Of course, there are times when Rwandans can and will feel dispirited, but hope – the hope of a victorious future – will never abandon us. Therefore, Rwandans can expect to triumph over every challenge, even the hardest.
So long as Rwandans and the leadership work together, I am confident that Rwanda’s best days are yet to come.
Contact email: liban.mugabo[at]gmail.com