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10 Amazing facts about Rwanda and Reasons to visit in 2018

Didier Champion

2018 is an exciting year for my beautiful nation, Rwanda, and for travelers around the world. As a proud Rwandan, I am very happy that we are finally starting to get the recognition we deserve by many international tourism agencies around the World.

As we start this year, Rwanda has been featured as one of the best places to travel to in 2018. This article will give you a brief introduction to Rwanda and explain why we have been recognized highly. Hope you add Rwanda to your wish list.

RWANDA is a beautiful country in the East African Region. It is a landlocked country situated between DRC ( Democratic Republic of Congo) in the West, Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the East and Burundi in the south.

Rwanda Map 2018Rwandan Map and its neighboring countries ( DRC, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi)

Despite its horrible past history of 1994 genocide against Tutsi…

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The “600” Film: A story of Heroism to end genocide in Rwanda ( 1994).

They call them the ‘600’.

A statue of RPF Soldiers at the Campaign Against Genocide Museum in Kigali, Rwanda

These rugged men who did the unimaginable.

True warriors.

Who paved the way for the end of the genocide.

They were soldiers who had accompanied the senior politicians of the Rwanda Patriotic Front to Kigali for the implementation of the peace accord that had been signed in Arusha, Tanzania.

The transitional government of President Juvenal Habyarimana had insisted that they only had light arms.

A submachine gun for each soldier.

And one long range high caliber machine gun for the entire contingent. Unknown to them and the politicians they accompanied.

President Juvenal Habyarimana had no intention of honouring the peace accord.

He had no interest in sharing power with the Rwanda Patriotic Front.

The plan was already hatched.

That dastardly strategy to rid the country of the Tutsi minority.

A strategy that first consumed the President himself who had been one of the planners.

His plane was shot down as it approached Kigali airport.

Ironically the plane crashed into his own compound.

His death was the signal for the evil that was to be unleashed.

The interahamwe death squads.

Escorted by government soldiers.

But the first place to be attacked was the parliament building and the adjoining hotel where the contingent of Rwandan Patriotic Front politicians were staying as they awaited the commencement of the implementation of the Arusha Peace accord.

The Parliament building and hotel that was being guarded by the 600 strong Rwandan Patriotic Army.

Who were dug into their trenches in the hill upon which both buildings sat.

The interamhamwe death squads and government soldiers were over 20,000 strong.

Armed to the teeth with modern weapons.

They shot at and shelled the buildings over and over again.

The politicians took shelter in the basement.

While the 600 soldiers who protected them returned fire, holding the enemy at bay.

600 lightly armed fighters against over 20,000 well armed soldiers and countless interamhamwe.

For four days they held the hill and the buildings.

These 600 men.

At the same time other members of the death squads were spreading across Kigali and the rest of the country killing every Tutsi they could find.

Some of the Tutsi’s escaped to the stadium where the United Nations peacekeepers were camped.

They wanted safety.

But they were shocked when the peacekeepers refused to intervene.

And instead obeying orders from the United Nations secretariat in New York, they began to evacuate the country.

Leaving the Tutsi’s who had gathered there to be slaughtered by the murderous interahahmwe.

Fearing the hill upon which the Parliament and the adjoining hotel where the politicians were would be totally surrounded by the government soldiers and the interamhamwe death squads, and unable to bear the thought of the fate of the civilians who were being abandoned at the stadium.

General Paul Kagame, the head of the Rwandan Patriotic Army and current President of Rwanda, gave the order for the 600 dug in soldiers to break their cover in the trenches, protect themselves, protect the politicians and save as many civilians as they could find.

The 600 soldiers came out of their trenches.

Broke into 4 groups and took the fight to the enemy.

Whilst holding the high ground, a group shot through heavily armed barricades of government soldiers and interahahmwe whilst heading to the stadium to save the civilians who were going to be murdered by the death squads.

Another group, attacked the soldiers that were firing at them from the Presidential guard camp

Another group, went on the offensive to take the mountain camp from where the government soldiers were firing at them.

While the last group while protecting the mountain attacked another camp.

All this while, just 2 fighters from the Rwandan Patriotic Army remained behind.

They were with the high caliber long range machine gun and were stationed on the roof of the parliament.

Firing in all directions as they held off the attacks.

At a point during the attack, one of the Rwandan Patriotic Army fighters on the roof was killed and the remaining fighter kept on fighting alone from the roof, reloading and firing the machine gun at the enemy positions while also providing cover for the four groups that were advancing in all directions to repel the attacks, seize new grounds and rescue civilians.

The tide turned in favour of the 600 soldiers when the group that were sent to seize the government camp on the mountain achieved their objectives.

And opened a safe corridor for the reinforcement of that was sent by General Paul Kagame from the north.

A reinforcement that had marched on foot for 4 days.

Heading south.

Evading enemy positions.

To help their 600 comrades.

Even when they finally arrived, they were still outnumbered by the interamhamwe and the government soldiers.

Yet they kept fighting.

They rescued the civilians at the stadium.

Civilians amongst which was the man that will become the future Prime Minister of Rwanda.

They protected all the politicians in the hotel, including the man who will become the future President of Rwanda and the predecessor of President Paul Kagame.

8 of them were sent to rescue a lot of civilians who had been surrounded in a catholic church by hundreds of interamhamwe death squads.

All the civilians were rescued and only one of the Rwandan Patriotic Army died in the rescue attempt, because he had returned to rescue an old woman who had been mistakenly left behind in the church. And even though he died, he succeeded in rescuing her.

These 600 and the reinforcement that came resisted several attempts of the government soldiers to regroup and attack, instead they drove them out of Kigali and in a 100 days they had liberated the entire country from the strangle hold of the interamhamwe and the government soldiers.

They had few weapons and wore rain boots because they didn’t have enough money to be better kitted.

And they took the weapons of the fleeing government soldiers and interamhamwe to arm themselves in order to fight even harder.

These indomitable fighters ably led by the brilliant tactician and consummate warrior; General Paul Kagame.

A 37 year old soldier.

Who left his place of refuge in Uganda, to lead a group of warriors to save his motherland from itself.

These men whose feats of sacrifice and acts of courage are immortalized at the Campaign Against Genocide Museum in Gasabo District in Kigali.

One of the 600 is now the Special Adviser to President Kagame on national secutiy.

One is the ambassador to China.

And on and on.

The fighter who after his partner had been killed, singlehandely manned the high caliber long range machine gun on the roof of the parliament for one week of no food and little water as he provided cover for the other hundreds of Rwandan Patriotic Army fighters as they advanced against the enemy retired as a highly decorated Major in the army and is now a frequent visitor at the museum were he regales visitors and staff of the exploit of him and his comrades.

There are others too many to mention.

All honoured and reverred by their nation.

Respected in awe as the 3rd Battalion.

The warriors who held the bastion called The Parliament for 4 days with indiviidual sub machine guns, one machine gun and little food and water while fighting against an overwhelmingly powerful force of over 20,000 soldiers and countless interahamwe death squads.

Men who even had the courage and fighting brilliance to still rescue civilians at the stadium and secure the airport.

Before reinforcements arrived.

The ‘600’

Men of imaginable courage and true grit.

Who kept fighting even when they were outnumbered and outgunned with the weapons recovered from the enemy they had killed.

Men who looked death in the eye every second but overcame their fear to defeat evil.

They didn’t save the over a million Tutsi and moderate Hutus that were murdered.

But if it wasn’t for the 600 fighters and the reinforcements that joined them.

And the end they put to the carnage.

Millions more would have died.

In a 100 days they liberated the entire country, city by city, town by town, viĺlage by village, even when their enemies were being indirectly supported by France.

But it was not only them, there were also other brave civilians who hid Tutsis and moderate Hutus, clerics of all religious persuasions who hid people, and others who laid down their lives, that others may live.

It was a deeply moving experience as I was ushered through the museum by the guide.

And when he said.

“We have learnt to forgive, because that is the only way we can rebuild our country and move it to greater heights, but we know that we cannot afford to forget, because it is in forgetting what happened to us that we will be ensuring that something even worse will happen to us in the future. This is why we have all these museums. This is why we remember the genocide. This is why we ensure that we can talk about the time when the worst of us reigned without fear that somehow we are encouraging something dangerous to rise to the surface. We must shine the light on our past, because if we don’t, our enemy will take the darkness of ignorance that will instead exist, and use it as a tool to bring out something even worse than the worst in us and when they do, we might not be as lucky to survive and rebuild as we have. Our museums are our protection from evil. It is a reminder that evil thrives in ignorance. We and our future generations cannot afford to be ignorant. Please go out there and let people know about what you have seen here today. About the courage of the 600 and all the Rwandans who have looked at evil in the eye, and chose to love instead of hate, to stick together instead of break apart, to hope and believe instead of despair and give up. This shows you that our story is not a miracle, it is instead a child of courage, hard work and choosing to do the necessary instead of the expedient. We are love personified.”

I cried.

Kigali

Jude Idada
May 4, 2019

Source: Jude Dada facebook page.

Watch the 600 documentary ( Trailer).

Paul Kagame: The Best Leader in our nation’s history.

It is amazing what one good leader can do to a whole nation of 12+million people. Having born and raised in Rwanda in the 90’s, I never thought that Rwanda would be where it is today. By the time I celebrated my 7th birthday, I had lived 3 years in a refugee camp in the former Zaire, now DRC. I was very young to understand the complexity of what happened in my home country in early 1990 and most importantly the events of 1994 against Tutsi in Rwanda.

My family came back to Rwanda in 1997 and has been living in Rwanda since then. I have observed Rwanda’s rebirth from the ashes in 1990 to a beautiful and bright country it has become; thanks to the leadership of the one and only President Paul Kagame and the government of national unity.

We Rwandans are very blessed to have such as competent, patriotic and charismatic president in our country. When I read about some of these western media articles about our president, I always wonder Why always PK? Why would a great leader like PK be so criticized this much by the so-called professional media? I get very irritated very often about their reports on Rwanda. These articles are compiled by journalists who have a hidden agenda for their own selfish interests. In most cases, the opinions of Rwandans do not even matter. Whenever it comes to assessing the performance of our leader, our opinions seem NOT to matter to these Western journalists. Again, I ask WHY? Why the fake news against Rwanda?

We are a small nation in the middle of Africa that has beaten the odds of many failed states. When the whole world abandoned us, we found ways to pull ourselves from the bootstraps and have managed to rise above our challenges, from death to life, from poverty to prosperity, and literally from zero to a 100, like Rapper Drake would say.

In the article below, I want to give a Rwandan perspective about Rwanda and more specifically about our president Paul Kagame. This is a direct answer to what do Rwandans think of Paul Kagame.

Get ready as I am about to take you a journey of a brief history of my home country, Rwanda. Rwanda Today is where it is because of Kagame’s leadership, his love and passion for Rwanda. You cannot talk about about Rwanda today without Paul Kagame at the center. It cannot be done.

His resume speaks for itself with regards to Rwanda.

  • He stopped genocide.
  • Inherited a “ failed state” and has managed to transform Rwanda into what many have called an “economic miracle” in less than 20 years.
  • Managed to unite a divided nation and restored hope with the Rwandan people.
  • The pillars of unity, peace, and reconciliation became the new motto for a once divided country.
  • After those foundations were strong enough, economic growth and sustainable development was next along work ethic and patriotism.
  • Rwanda is peaceful and united today because of his vision of the country. His ability to surround himself with a team of advisors and leaders who he challenges to be the best service members of those they lead ( aka the Rwandan people).
  • His ability to lead by example, inspiring and motivating every Rwandan to be the best citizen for their Rwanda. Telling them that Rwanda is the people.

When it is time to workPK leads by example.

Over the past 2 decades, Rwanda has achieved steady economic growth due to his ability to think outside the box and challenging Rwandans to find homegrown solutions suitable to the Rwandan community/society.

Rwanda GDP per capita PPP | 1990-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast

Paul Kagame wants Rwanda to be financially free and independent by promoting tourism and investment in Rwanda.

Under his leadership, Rwanda has made many policy reforms to attract investors from all over the world. Rwanda is literally branding and marketing themselves to position themselves a tourist hub in the East-African region, Africa and the world.

Rwanda and Arsenal will be doing business together for the next 3 years to promote tourism and investment in Rwanda.( 2018–2021). Get your jersey very soon before Rwandans buy them all. Haha! The official shirts of Arsenal will have “ Visit Rwanda” on the left short sleeve shirt.

So far, their investment has paid off and will continue to in the near future.

ICCA Ranks Rwanda 3rd Most Popular Destination For Conferences, Events In Africa

When you have headlines like these above from Western media ( about Rwanda), you know Rwandans are doing something right. See Rwanda: The Royal Tour.

How Rwanda Became the Unlikeliest Tourism Destination in Africa ( Bloomberg, USA).

Why Rwanda is the next luxury travel hotspot ( The Independent, UK).

RWANDA, INC.

You might as well call Rwanda, a public company, working in the interests of her board members and shareholders only; the Rwandan people. All efforts are made to avoid any waste, inefficiencies, corruption, and other negative factors that affects her GDP as a country or net worth as a magnificent company.

By 2025, Rwanda wants to be aid free.

This fiscal year of 2018, 85% of Rwanda’s national budget comes from Rwandan taxpayers. Looking at how fast things are going, they should be able to get there by 2023.

Didier Champion’s answer to How is a Rwanda, one of Africa’s smaller countries, amongst the most powerful nations in Africa? What is their leverage?

This is the whole idea of “ Agaciro”, which means dignity and respect. For far too long, multinational aid has been used as a tool to control African countries by their donors and former colonial masters, Rwanda wants no part of that.

Paul Kagame hates aid. He hates it that Rwanda is still dependant to other people. He always talks about self-reliance and dignity.

In his words, “ if aid is not meant to bring people out of poverty, then it must have a hidden agenda”. He is very right if you look at Africa since the 1970’s.

Many economists have been sounding the alarm about the danger of multinational aid. Heather Stewart: Is aid a $2.3 trillion failure? ( Economist, William Easterly).

Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa ( Economist, Dambisa Moyo).

Paul Kagame answers only to Rwandans, and not anybody else. Over time, he has made it clear that the only people he is obligated to answer to are Rwandans and Rwandans only. Not colonial masters and the West (France, Germany, the US, UK, and others).

Paul Kagame is the kind of leader any African citizen would want to have.

  • He is proud to be Rwandan/African.
  • Promotes women rights in all aspects.
  • Likes technology and how it can be used to transform Rwanda’s economic development.
  • Empowers the young people ( like me) and inspires them to be the best in their professions.
  • He likes Rwanda and shows it in action, and not just in words.
  • Above all, he is passionate about Rwanda, visionary, and his work ethic is unmatchable.
  • He is very disciplined, passionate ans caring. Rwandans like to drink. President Kagame does not drink alcohol (fun fact). Sleeps 4-hours a day, plays tennis, watches soccer ( Arsenal fan) and basketball ( NBA, Golden State Warriors). Likes to win of course.
  • An avid reader every day. Apparently, wherever he is, he travels with more than enough reading material. That explains why he always sharp and up to date on anything regarding of economic and international development, business, entrepreuneurship, regular subscription to magazines such as Forbes, Economist, and others.

Paul Kagame is the man of action.

I call him a jack of all trades. How does he do it?

A former military general, a charismatic leader, a businessman, and an outstanding marketer. You can blame him for how he does it but you cannot argue with the results. The fruits of his work in Rwanda is crystal clear.

I have been following up with his leadership over 15-years now. The man cannot handle nonsense. At any point, he is able to switch roles as it fits.

  • When he talking to the military, he is the General. The commander in Chief. ( To this day, they still call him “ Afande”, which means, “commander”). He is respected by the men and women in uniform who protects this country, 24/7.
  • When he is talking to the investors, he is a businessman, the CEO. Listening and carefully analyzing all the deals and how his company, Rwanda, INC will benefit.
  • When he is talking to the people, he is the man of the people. Rwandans love this guy. Young and old, home and abroad, men and women. You name it.

You think your president got crowds? Forget about it! Look at PK’s crowds.

  • When he is with the young people, he is the father, their mentor and educator. In a way, he is the father of Modern-Rwanda ( Post 1994 Rwanda).
  • As a Rwandan, Paul Kagame is the president that we have ever had.
  • As a shareholder, he is one of the best CEO in the marketplace.

As the CEO of Rwanda, Inc, he has kept the board members and shareholders happy and satisfied. Sometimes, they are skeptical about his shear boldness and optimism for the country, but overtime, we have learned to adjust accordingly.

Many of his decisions are always longterm. He is always thinking 5–10 and sometimes 15–20 years ahead. It can be hard for those of us with a myopic view of socio-economic and political related issues in Rwanda. But overtime, we have learned to adjust accordingly. The Rwanda Express Train does move very fast. If you are not ready, you can stay behind quite easily and will have to catch up later.

Today, Rwanda is like a plane getting ready to take off.

All Engines are getting warmed up. Some are warmer than others, of course. Some have been warm and are patiently waiting the whole system. Those “in progress” are getting worked on everyday.

  • Engine 1 is ( has been) ready: Unity and peace.
  • Engine 2 is ( has been) ready: Safety and security.
  • Engine 3 is ( has been ) ready: Hope and excitment for today and the future.
  • Engine 4 is getting there: Steady economic growth.
  • Engine 5 is always “ work in progress”: Sustainable Development.

All these 5 engines are and will always be the main drivers of the Rwandan economy. Some people might even add “Engine 6”, political freedom and expression. In Rwanda, we have our own version of the 6th engine.

Given our history of divisionism and political antagonism in Pre-1994 Rwanda, Rwandans want this engine to be more about cooperation and exchange of ideas, and not about identity politics and nonsense arguments, all in the name of pleasing the colonial masters (western style democracy). We have no time to waste today. We wasted over 30 years, which resulted into a brutal genocide.

We tried their version after independence and we got burned hard. The “Rwandan plane” crashed really hard and landed miserably. We were nearly destroyed for copying some western ideals we did not understand. We have learned our lessons the hard way. Today, we have chosen our version of democracy. The Rwandan democracy. We still express our opinions and ideas, but in an orderly fashion. Designed to build and not to self-destruct again.

Many non-Rwandans cannot understand our version. But that’s okay. Because our case is special. You would have to learn our history to get a glimplse of where we are coming from. Even then, many still don’t get it.

From time to time again, we have told them to “ keep it moving”. As Rwandans, we decide the direction of where we want to go and how we will get there. No need to explain ourselves.

Anyway, it has been a pleasure following his leadership as the president of Rwanda.

Thanks to him, Rwanda was saved and is here to stay. The future is bright and promising. Until then, keep calm and love Rwanda.

Cheers from Kigali! The most organized and beautiful city in Africa.

Didier Champion

This article was originally published on Quora under https://www.quora.com/What-do-Rwandans-think-of-Paul-Kagame/answer/Didier-Champion .

What is wrong with Rwandan Football?

The African Cup of Nations 2019 just kicked off yesterday. The teams are ready to compete and the excitement is at all time high. For Rwandans, home and abroad, it is time to pick which team to support because the Rwandan team ( Amavubi) is nowhere to be found. Once again, we are reminded how we have a mediocre team. We are reminded of our football curse. Seriously, what has happened to Rwandan football over the years?

Of all the East African Community member countries, we are the only country that did not quality in this biggest and most popular football competition on the African continent. Again, I ask, What is wrong with our football? All our neighbors have qualified, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and DRC. Seriously, what is wrong with our football?

The Football Association has got some explaining to do. Is it the lack of players? Is it the lack of funds? Is it the whole management and organization of our football association? These are some of the questions we should be asking ourselves. What can we do bring back our football back to life?

Commemorating 20 years of Rwanda genocide
The 2004 Amavubi Team, which made us proud in the AFCON in Tunisia.

I remember the 2004 Amavubi, which made us proud and made it to the AFCON championship for the first time. Rwandans were all excited. It has been 15 years ago, but I still remember it as it was yesterday. Back then, we had fewer resources than ( we do ) today. So, it can’t the resources. Back then, we had Rwandan players competing at the highest level in the AFCON. Today, we are seating at home watching our neighbors compete.

We are seating watching our neighbors compete. As I watch the game between Burundi ( our twin country ) against Nigeria, I couldn’t but to notice how far our football is behind compared to our neighbors. We used to compete with Burundi and they were lucky to draw with us. We used to win against Uganda and our games were very competitive. After a decisive win of “Ugandan Cranes” of Uganda over “Les Leopards” of DRC, I couldn’t help but wonder what has happened with our football.

In 2019, we have more resources than we did in 2004. We have football academies. We hardly had any in 2004. We have better equipped stadiums and more playground than we did in 2004. Seriously, what has happened to our football? Who can end our football curse? Is there something we can do or we should accept our fate and move on with cycling instead. That is the only sport we seem to master these days. As a football fan, I miss watching Amavubi with pride representing at the international stage. Those in charge should take a look at themselves because we are tired of mediocrity in our football.

Rest in Peace our Amavubi. We miss you!

Yours sincerely,

Didier Champion

Getting ” real” about teenage pregnancy in Rwanda. What can we do?

A few months ago, New Times published an article about teenage pregnancy in Rwanda. Since then, there is no week that passes by without getting more depressing statistics about teen pregnancy in schools in many districts around the country. Time and time again, instead of addressing the real issues, our culture have found ways to blame young girls. The harsh stigma that teenage moms face during and after pregnancy is concerning.

The harsh treatment goes from dropping out of schools, abandonment from friends and family, just to name a few. We already knew about this issue, why have we failed to address the real problems? Of all schools, you would expect a school like FAWE to know better about how to treat women with dignity and respect they deserve.

It does not make sense that FAWE girls school does not support young girls whose have been failed by our culture of lack of education with regards to sexuality and reproductive health.

Some of FAWE Rwanda students during a recent a mentorship program. Courtesy: New Times.

I have been wanting to write about what needs to be done about this issue. Lucky for me, I came across Katie Carlson post on facebook. She broke down all issues at hand and could not help but to share her ideas. In the end, this is ongoing problem. Instead of letting it go, we need to talk about it and find ways forward to making sure that the youth of Rwanda are supported, regardless of their situation. Our cultural norms need a reality check with regards to teenage pregnancy in this country.

To read more, read the following post by Katie Carlson Post on Facebook.

You wanna know what causes teen pregnancy? It’s not girls just being “loose” or immoral as so many people seem to love to claim, to avoid taking responsibility for the larger problems driving it. It’s gender norms, gender norms, gender norms, and the cultural taboo around speaking about sex and reproductive health. It is a profound failure of adults, and yet we almost never acknowledge this. Girls have sex for many reasons, but the main question we need to be asking in terms of teen pregnancy is, why are they having *unprotected* sex? And the answer is three-fold.

First, girls say they feel they MUST have sex with a boy in order to keep his interest and for him to “continue to love me” – and even if they are aware that they should use condoms, the boy will refuse because sex doesn’t feel as good with a condom, and sex without a condom will really prove she loves him. The number one theme that has emerged in recent months from my own research into this problem is the ABSOLUTE NEED TO KEEP THE BOY AT ALL COSTS. If this means having sex without wanting to, or having consensual sex without a condom, in most cases, she will do it.

This is a direct result of gender norms – of girls being raised to see boys as more powerful, more valuable, more capable than they are, and to believe that to have a boy’s attention and validation is the ultimate goal in life, particularly in those teenage years when emotional, physical and psychological developmental influences are in overdrive.

The second driver is financial vulnerability – girls expect to be able to offer sex as currency, in transactional situations, even with their own consensual boyfriends. If a girl faces violence in her home, she may be able to rely on her boyfriend to take her in and in return, she will have sex with him – and since he is “doing her a favour” by allowing her to live with him, she must pay him in sex and cannot insist on condom use. If a girl needs something in life, even very basic needs, she doesn’t first focus on how she can meet her own needs (and she may not even have the support from any corner to make her own money, etc.), instead she considers how she can have her needs met through a boy or a man who has money. Because gender norms teach girls to think that money and financial independence is the remit of men – and that a girl’s body is an acceptable form of currency that she can or must trade in exchange for other needs. Girls AND boys are socialized to believe these things from a very young age. Further – even when girls know they should use a condom, they cannot bear to be seen buying them at a local shop – the community will ostracize them, and men who see them purchasing condoms then proceed to sexually harass them and imply that the girl should be having sex with him, too. Boys can buy condoms and people expect that boys are having sex – but girls? No, no. Girls must remain hidden, virgins until marriage, and to have any sexual desire or interest at all is repulsive and immoral. What absolute sexist nonsense.

The third key issue is adults being uncomfortable with talking about sex – what I consider to be a profound failure on the part of adults who know better and yet will not educate the youth. Even when girls know they are at risk if they don’t use condoms, they struggle to access true and accurate information about sex in order to protect themselves. Parents don’t want to discuss, and neither do teachers. So what happens then? Myths abound. Girls are told that condoms will slip off and stay in your body unless you have surgery to remove them – and if don’t have them removed, they will cause cancer and kill you. Girls are told these things and they believe them – because no one else who is well informed is willing to speak to them about it. The assumption that speaking to young people about sex will provoke them to have sex is patently false – and has been proven in various different bits of research around the world. In fact, speaking to young people about sex demystifies the whole idea of sex, and allows them to find answers to their questions in a safe way, rather than having to resort to sexual activity before they are ready to satisfy their curiousity and understand this thing that no one is willing to tell them about. To not speak to young people about sex leaves them in a void of misinformation and confusion, and opens them up to vastly more risks and possible exploitation – and it directly contributes to teen pregnancy.

Adults – I know it’s awkward, I know it maybe wasn’t done when you were a kid, but please look at the reality of TODAY and understand that you are condemning young people to serious risks and vulnerabilities, especially girls, that will affect their entire lives, if you do not get over your discomfort and speak with them honestly and openly – and base your behaviours and attitudes on real evidence, not fears, taboos and misinformation. Stop blaming girls, stop avoiding responsibility for the problem that you are instrumental in creating and perpetuating.

Source: Katie Carlson Post on Facebook.

In the end, as a people and as a culture, we have to admit that we cannot prevent teenagers from sexual intercourse. If we can provide adequate sex education and reproductive health training, we can reverse the trend. Otherwise, we are failing the youth and the future of our nation. It is a no brainer that teenage pregnancy is on the rise, according to this recent survey. We need to change our attitude towards this problem. Fellow Rwandans, what is your opinion? Share in the comments.

Is Africa really rising?

If you really want to know if Africa is rising, ask Africans.

The Africa rising slogan is not African. The narrative is a Western view of Africa.

Africa is under-performing. Is Zimbabwe doing better today that it was in 2000? Even South Africa is heading into a recession. The most industrialized country in Africa is registering negative growth. How do you explain that?

Ali Mufuriki makes some good points about making clear distinctions about hype versus reality and hope versus achievement.

Africa is indeed “rising”, but the hype is overrated when you look at quantifiable measurements. The following points are all taken from his Ted Talk.

  1. Low Expectations. In the 80’s and 90’s, China was growing at 18% per annum at the peak of its growth. What is Africa’s growth today? 7–8%. When China’s growth is less than 10%, Economists call it a “ recession”. What is considered a “recession” in China is praised as a huge growth for Africa. Why are bars set too low? Something tells me because we are Africans.
  2. You cannot rise without enough electricity. Ask Nigerians about their power cuts. In fact, France (65 million people) consumes 4 times more electricity than Sub-Saharan Africa (850 million people, 2015). Is Africa really rising?
  3. Huge costs for transportation. Transporting one ton of fertilizer from a US port to Kenyan port ( Mombasa) costs about $ 40 per ton for a 9,000 KM distance. Can you guess what it costs to transport the same cargo from Mombasa to Kampala ( Uganda)? It costs $ 120 per ton for a 1,000 KM distance. Per KM, it is 30 times more expensive to transport commodities inside Africa. How can Entrepreneurs thrive in this environment? Are we not setting them for failure? This can’t be a sign for rising.
  4. Has anybody flew inside Africa? Flights are super expensive on the continent. We still have visa issues between countries. In my region, check out the price to fly from Kigali to Dar-es-Salaam, Nairobi, and Addis-Ababa. Similar journeys in Europe or Asia are three times cheaper. How can we trade with one another when flying is reserved for politicians, diplomats, NGO workers, and rich business people?
  5. How about energy security? As of 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa was importing $ 19 billion worth of oil from OPEC countries. Why can’t we refine the oil reserves in Africa to be self-sufficient? Meanwhile, Nigeria, one of the largest oil producers in Africa lost about 136 million barrels of oil between 2009–2012. Most of the oil was lost through theft, sabotage, corruption, and other self-destructing phenomena. That’s one billion USD in loss of revenues. The same amount Nigeria used to import grains such as wheat, maize, and other cereals in the country. Are we really rising?
  6. Mechanization of Agriculture. We are still practicing agriculture the same way people did it 500 years ago. Africa is under-performing in irrigation and introducing modern techniques to ensure food security. An African farmer harvest 2 tons of maize per one hectare of land. Meanwhile, an American farmer gets 10 tons per hectare. Are we really rising?
  7. Zimbabwe is a good example in this case. Take the land from commercial farmers and give it to subsistence farmers. How is Zimbabwe today? A once food basket and a net exporter of food in Africa faces food shortages and mass emigration. South Africa is heading in the same direction. I hope they prove me wrong, but things are not looking good there either. Are we really rising?
  8. In education, what are our literacy rates? Basic education of primary and secondary education. 70% of Africans are a young population under 35. Are we empowering the youth to equip them with the skills and knowledge to cope with the challenges of today and tomorrow? I don’t think so.
  9. In the end, nothing seems to be changing in Africa. Our leaders are illiterate and don’t care about reading and learning from others. Not too long ago, some Asian countries were behind Africa. South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. Our folks just don’t care.
  10. For Africa to rise, we need the magic of 6M theory of management. Man, material, money, market, management, and motivation.
    1. Man (people): a skilled and well-trained workforce.
    2. Material: Infrastructure to facilitate economic growth ( transportation, electricity, roads, railways, etc).
    3. Money: Access to capital.
    4. Markets: Access to global markets ( Africa Intra-trade).
    5. Management: Leadership that is visionary and forward thinking.
    6. Motivation: Hope and excitement for today and the future. Are African countries doing enough to get African youth excited? I don’t think so. We are talking about 70% of the African population, who are under 35.

From the outside perspective, we might be “rising”, but from an inside perspective, we are under-performing. I am always positive and hopeful, but sometimes, we gotta be real.

Any Africans think we are really rising as a whole continent? In my honest opinion, the bar for us has been set too low. Such a shame! As Ali from Tanzania said, there is a big difference between hype and reality.

The hype is that Africa is rising. The reality is that Africa is underachieving.

Follow Africa is Home to learn more.

References

Is Africa really rising? Ali Muturiki ( Ted Talk).

https://www.quora.com/Is-Africa-really-rising/answer/Didier-Champion

Kwibuka25: The President Address to the Nation.

On the 25th commemoration of genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda, President Paul Kagame delivered a very powerful message to the people of Rwanda. His message highlighted the recovery of Rwanda, and it took me back through the journey that we have been on for the past 25 years after 1994. The message is crystal clear that Rwanda is here to stay. However, We Rwandans have to be protective of what we have built. The unity, peace, and reconciliation pillars are the foundation of Rwanda today. As the youth of Rwanda, We have to stay engaged and be proactive in our nation’s building.

This is why I am sharing his speech for those who might have missed it. It is a roadmap of where we are heading as a nation and the challenges ahead for Rwanda.

___

I begin by thanking you. On a day like this, when language fails, the first words that come, are words of gratitude. To you, the friends by our side on this heavy day, including the different leaders present, we say thank you. Many of you have been with us all along, and we cherish you for contributing to the healing and re-building of Rwanda.

I also thank my fellow Rwandans, who joined hands to recreate this country. In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place.

How did it happen?

Rwanda became a family, once again. The arms of our people, intertwined, constitute the pillars of our nation. We hold each other up. Our bodies and minds bear amputations and scars, but none of us is alone. Together, we have woven the tattered threads of our unity into a new tapestry.

Sisters became mothers. Neighbors became uncles. Strangers became friends. Our culture naturally creates new bonds of solidarity, which both console and renew.

Rwanda is a family. That is why we still exist, despite all we have gone through. There is no way to fully comprehend the loneliness and anger of survivors. And yet, over and over again, we have asked them to make the sacrifices necessary to give our nation new life. Emotions had to be put in a box.

Someone once asked me why we keep burdening survivors with the responsibility for our healing. It was a painful question, but I realized the answer was obvious. Survivors are the only ones with something left to give: their forgiveness.

Our people have carried an immense weight with little or no complaint. This has made us better and more united than ever before. At a memorial event some years ago, a girl brought us to tears with a poem. She said, “There is a saying that God spends the day elsewhere, but returns to sleep in Rwanda.”

“Where was God on those dark nights of genocide?”, she asked.

Looking at Rwanda today, it is clear that God has come back home to stay.

To survivors, I say thank you. Your resilience and bravery represent the triumph of the Rwandan character in its purest form.

Joining us today are families from other countries, whose husbands, fathers, sisters, and aunts were claimed by the same deadly ideology.

The Belgian peacekeepers, murdered twenty-five years ago this morning.

Captain Mbaye Diagne from Senegal, who saved so many lives.

Tonia Locatelli, killed in 1992 for telling the truth of what was to come.

The only comfort we can offer is the commonality of sorrow, and the respect owed to those who had the courage to do the right thing.

Other people around the world also stood up and made a difference.

Ambassador Karel Kovanda from the Czech Republic joined colleagues from New Zealand and Nigeria to call for action to stop the Genocide, despite the indifference of more powerful states.

And my brother, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, knows where Rwanda is coming from, having served in an Ethiopian peacekeeping contingent after the Genocide, together with troops from elsewhere in Africa and beyond.

Thank you all for your presence.

Those among us who perpetrated the Genocide, or stood by passively, are also part of our nation. The willingness, in a number of cases, to tell the truth, pay the price, and re-join the community, is an important contribution.

The witness of perpetrators is irrefutable proof, if any was still needed, that genocide happened.

Genocide hibernates as denial.

Both before the killing and after, there is a long chain of events which are interconnected. Revisionism is not merely demeaning, but profoundly dangerous.

The genocide did not begin on one specific day. It has a history.

Why were refugees Rwanda’s biggest export, for decades? Why were the same people repeatedly targeted for persecution and massacre, from the late 1950s to the 1990s? Why were bodies dumped into rivers, to send them back up the Nile, where they supposedly came from? Why did some parents even kill their own children, who looked a certain way?

None of that started with a plane crash. So where did it come from?

Through it all, we had guardians of virtue, Abarinzi b’Igihango, and other righteous citizens. Our rebirth was seeded by their actions.

The young girl, portrayed in the play we just saw, who took it upon herself to care for a baby survivor despite the objections of her family. That is a true story and today both women are home and fine.

The Nyange students who refused to be separated into Hutu on one side, Tutsi on the other. They never betrayed each other. Six were killed. Forty were wounded. All are heroes.

These are examples of the Rwandans who kept us from losing everything.

But most of us are neither survivors nor perpetrators. Three-quarters of Rwandans are under age thirty. Almost 60 per cent were born after the Genocide.

Our children enjoy the innocence of peace. They know trauma and violence only from stories. Our aspirations rest in this new generation.

Mature trees can no longer be molded, but seeds contain endless possibility. Rwanda’s young people have everything needed to transform our country. They have the responsibility to take charge more and more, and participate fully in securing the Rwanda we want and deserve.

We are far better Rwandans than we were. But we can be even better still.

We are the last people in the world who should succumb to complacency. The suffering we have endured should be enough to keep our fighting spirit alive.

Our country cannot afford to live by twists of fate. We must be deliberate and decisive, guided by humility and the content of our hearts. Rwanda has to stay one step ahead. Otherwise, we are insignificant.

The facts are stubborn, but so are we. We really have to be.

Our nation has turned a corner. Fear and anger have been replaced by the energy and purpose that drives us forward, young and old.

Rwanda is a very good friend to its friends. We seek peace, we turn the page. But no adversary should underestimate what a formidable force Rwandans have become, as a result of our circumstances.

Nothing has the power to turn Rwandans against each other, ever again. This history will not repeat. That is our firm commitment.

Nothing is required from those who wronged us, except an open mind. Every day we learn to forgive. But we do not want to forget. After all, before asking others to repent, we first have to forgive ourselves.

As for the dishonorable who remain impervious to regret, it is not our problem. It does not stop Rwanda from making progress, even for one moment.

The decimation of Rwanda was more absolute than any known weapon of mass destruction. Not only bodies were destroyed, but the very idea of Rwanda itself. That shows the ferocious power of human sentiments and designs.

Our prayer is for no other people to ever endure the same tribulations, especially our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Never accept it. Confront the apostles of division and hatred who masquerade as saviors and democrats. Our commonalities are always infinitely greater than our differences. No society is above any other, much less immune to fragility.

In the end, the only conclusion to draw from Rwanda’s story is profound hope for our world. No community is beyond repair, and the dignity of a people is never fully extinguished.

Twenty-five years later, here we are. All of us. Wounded and heartbroken, yes. But unvanquished.

We Rwandans have granted ourselves a new beginning. We exist in a state of permanent commemoration, every day, in all that we do, in order to remain faithful to that choice.

I thank you and wish you strength and peace.

I begin by thanking you. On a day like this, when language fails, the first words that come, are words of gratitude.

To you, the friends by our side on this heavy day, including the different leaders present, we say thank you. Many of you have been with us all along, and we cherish you for contributing to the healing and re-building of Rwanda.

I also thank my fellow Rwandans, who joined hands to recreate this country. In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place.

How did it happen?

Rwanda became a family, once again. The arms of our people, intertwined, constitute the pillars of our nation. We hold each other up. Our bodies and minds bear amputations and scars, but none of us is alone. Together, we have woven the tattered threads of our unity into a new tapestry.

Sisters became mothers. Neighbors became uncles. Strangers became friends. Our culture naturally creates new bonds of solidarity, which both console and renew.

Rwanda is a family. That is why we still exist, despite all we have gone through.

There is no way to fully comprehend the loneliness and anger of survivors. And yet, over and over again, we have asked them to make the sacrifices necessary to give our nation new life. Emotions had to be put in a box.

Someone once asked me why we keep burdening survivors with the responsibility for our healing. It was a painful question, but I realized the answer was obvious. Survivors are the only ones with something left to give: their forgiveness.

Our people have carried an immense weight with little or no complaint. This has made us better and more united than ever before.

At a memorial event some years ago, a girl brought us to tears with a poem. She said, “There is a saying that God spends the day elsewhere, but returns to sleep in Rwanda.”

“Where was God on those dark nights of genocide?”, she asked.

Looking at Rwanda today, it is clear that God has come back home to stay.

To survivors, I say thank you. Your resilience and bravery represent the triumph of the Rwandan character in its purest form.

Joining us today are families from other countries, whose husbands, fathers, sisters, and aunts were claimed by the same deadly ideology.

The Belgian peacekeepers, murdered twenty-five years ago this morning.

Captain Mbaye Diagne from Senegal, who saved so many lives.

Tonia Locatelli, killed in 1992 for telling the truth of what was to come.

The only comfort we can offer is the commonality of sorrow, and the respect owed to those who had the courage to do the right thing.

Other people around the world also stood up and made a difference.

Ambassador Karel Kovanda from the Czech Republic joined colleagues from New Zealand and Nigeria to call for action to stop the Genocide, despite the indifference of more powerful states.

And my brother, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, knows where Rwanda is coming from, having served in an Ethiopian peacekeeping contingent after the Genocide, together with troops from elsewhere in Africa and beyond.

Thank you all for your presence.

Those among us who perpetrated the Genocide, or stood by passively, are also part of our nation. The willingness, in a number of cases, to tell the truth, pay the price, and re-join the community, is an important contribution.

The witness of perpetrators is irrefutable proof, if any was still needed, that genocide happened.

Genocide hibernates as denial.

Both before the killing and after, there is a long chain of events which are interconnected. Revisionism is not merely demeaning, but profoundly dangerous.

The genocide did not begin on one specific day. It has a history.

Why were refugees Rwanda’s biggest export, for decades? Why were the same people repeatedly targeted for persecution and massacre, from the late 1950s to the 1990s? Why were bodies dumped into rivers, to send them back up the Nile, where they supposedly came from? Why did some parents even kill their own children, who looked a certain way?

None of that started with a plane crash. So where did it come from?

Through it all, we had guardians of virtue, Abarinzi b’Igihango, and other righteous citizens. Our rebirth was seeded by their actions.

The young girl, portrayed in the play we just saw, who took it upon herself to care for a baby survivor despite the objections of her family. That is a true story and today both women are home and fine.

The Nyange students who refused to be separated into Hutu on one side, Tutsi on the other. They never betrayed each other. Six were killed. Forty were wounded. All are heroes.

These are examples of the Rwandans who kept us from losing everything.

But most of us are neither survivors nor perpetrators. Three-quarters of Rwandans are under age thirty. Almost 60 per cent were born after the Genocide.

Our children enjoy the innocence of peace. They know trauma and violence only from stories. Our aspirations rest in this new generation.

Mature trees can no longer be molded, but seeds contain endless possibility. Rwanda’s young people have everything needed to transform our country. They have the responsibility to take charge more and more, and participate fully in securing the Rwanda we want and deserve.

We are far better Rwandans than we were. But we can be even better still.

We are the last people in the world who should succumb to complacency. The suffering we have endured should be enough to keep our fighting spirit alive.

Our country cannot afford to live by twists of fate. We must be deliberate and decisive, guided by humility and the content of our hearts. Rwanda has to stay one step ahead. Otherwise, we are insignificant.

The facts are stubborn, but so are we. We really have to be.

Our nation has turned a corner. Fear and anger have been replaced by the energy and purpose that drives us forward, young and old.

Rwanda is a very good friend to its friends. We seek peace, we turn the page. But no adversary should underestimate what a formidable force Rwandans have become, as a result of our circumstances.

Nothing has the power to turn Rwandans against each other, ever again. This history will not repeat. That is our firm commitment.

Nothing is required from those who wronged us, except an open mind. Every day we learn to forgive. But we do not want to forget. After all, before asking others to repent, we first have to forgive ourselves.

As for the dishonorable who remain impervious to regret, it is not our problem. It does not stop Rwanda from making progress, even for one moment.

The decimation of Rwanda was more absolute than any known weapon of mass destruction. Not only bodies were destroyed, but the very idea of Rwanda itself. That shows the ferocious power of human sentiments and designs.

Our prayer is for no other people to ever endure the same tribulations, especially our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Never accept it. Confront the apostles of division and hatred who masquerade as saviors and democrats. Our commonalities are always infinitely greater than our differences. No society is above any other, much less immune to fragility.

In the end, the only conclusion to draw from Rwanda’s story is profound hope for our world. No community is beyond repair, and the dignity of a people is never fully extinguished.

Twenty-five years later, here we are. All of us. Wounded and heartbroken, yes. But unvanquished.

We Rwandans have granted ourselves a new beginning. We exist in a state of permanent commemoration, every day, in all that we do, in order to remain faithful to that choice.

I thank you and wish you strength and peace.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

 

 

The Kings who shaped up the Rwanda of Today.

Before the arrival of European colonists in Rwanda, the kingdom of Rwanda was a powerful monarchy of their time. It was very organized, structured, and managed to go for 800 years. During those eight centuries, the monarchy lead by the Mwami, which meaning King in Kinyarwanda. In this article, I will introduce to some remarkable Kings who shaped up the history of our country. Where did Rwanda get her name? Who named it? These are some of the questions I will answer.

Rwanda comes from a Kinyarwanda word, which means Kwanda. In our language, “Kwanda” means to collect or to amass small species into one. In a nutshell, this is how the kingdom of Rwanda was formed. At the end of the 11th century, Our founder envisioned the idea of the kingdom.

Gihanga Ngomijana. King, the Creator. 

In 1081, he created the kingdom of Rwanda. It started as a small territory of what is now Gasabo. At the end of the 19th century, by the time the Germans invaded the Kingdom, Rwanda has expanded to twice her size today. Before the scramble of Africa, under the reign of Kigeli IV Rwabugili, the kingdom of Rwanda covered an area, double of her size today.

Rwanda Map before 1885
The Kingdom of Rwanda before the scramble of Africa. After 1885, Rwanda lost about half her original size. A big part went to what is now Uganda, and Eastern DRC.

Gihanga, the King’s first namecomes from a Kinyarwanda verb, Guhanga. This means to invent or to create something new. It makes sense because he created the kingdom. His last name, Ngomijana, means eternal. Our ancestors had huge respect to their creator King. his Kingdom was supposed to last forever. The new following kings had a big responsibility to safeguard the kingdom of Rwanda. At each inauguration, each king was entrusted with the responsibility to serve, lead by authority, protect, and expand the kingdom. By accomplishing this mission, he kept the promise that our kingdom was eternal. It was not going to disappear or assimilated into other kingdoms.

These are the fundamentals of what created and sustained the Kingdom of Rwanda. For 8 centuries, the kingdom protected herself against potential invaders. Compared to other kingdoms, our ancestors managed to stay homogenous. They all spoke Kinyarwanda and had a similar culture.

The Bahutus, Batutsis, and Batwas all lived side by side in peace and harmony. For generations, they could track their respective heritage through the 19 clans. Abanyiginya, Abega, Abatsobe, Abashambo, Abagesera, Abazigaba, Abasinga, Abacyaba, Abakono, Abaha, Abakono, Ababanda, Abasyete, Abashingo, Abongera, Abungura, Abashi, and Abashigatwa.

Their patriotism and determination to uphold traditions are what made the kingdom of Rwanda prosper. As Rwandans, we are here today because of those who came before us. We owe them a great deal of gratitude and appreciation for their diligence.

Throughout the history of Rwanda, the kings protected Rwanda against foreign invaders. They also conquered territories and expanded the kingdom to make the Kingdom, a powerful and strong monarchy. The following are my top three of the most notable kings. Ruganzu II Ndoli, Kigeli IV Rwabugili ( 1853-1895), and Mutara III Rudahigwa ( 1931-1959). I will highlight their contributions to the kingdom of Rwanda.

Ruganzu II Ndoli, the Warrior King. 

Ruganzu Ndoli 16th century 2018
A statue of Ruganzu II Ndoli in Rwanda Today

The Mwami Ruganzu ( 1510-1543) was inaugurated at the beginning of the 16th century. Under his reign, he conquered many territories and expanded his Kingdom. He revolutionalized his troops and terrified his neighbors. His favorite troops were given the name of Ibisumizi, those who are not scared to attack. Under his reign, he never lost any battle. At one point, his Abiru ( advisors ) told him to slow down on the number of battles. They were scared that the troops were getting tired that they could not keep up. Then, he famously responded “ U Rwanda ruratera, ntiruterwa“. This translates to Rwanda is strong to attack, but nobody will attack. This statement meant to show off the strength and the trust he had in his troops. In his words, we could invade others, but they won’t invade us. He kept his promise and never lost any battle during his reign

Kigeli IV Rwabugiri, King the Expansionist.

The Mwami Rwabugili ( 1853-1895) is also one of the most notable kings in the history of Rwanda. When Germans first came to Rwanda, Mwami Rwabugili was in charge. He is known as the expansionist. He also conquered many territories and welcomed the first Europeans to settle in Rwanda. His expansion plan was halted by the evils of colonialism.

Kigeli IV Rwabugili 2018
Kigeli IV Rwabugiri ( 1853-1895), first King to come in contact with Europeans. The most powerful King in the history of Rwanda.

He established an army equipped with guns he obtained from Germans and prohibited most foreigners especially Arabs from entering his kingdom. He defended the current borders of the Rwanda kingdom against invading neighboring kingdoms, slave traders and Europeans. Rwabugiri was a warrior King and is regarded as one of Rwanda’s most powerful kings.

Mutara III Rudahigwa ( 1931-1959)

The Mwami Rudahigwa was technically the last king of Rwanda. He was the king of Rwanda under Belgian colonial rule in Rwanda. But lots of things that happened under his reign shaped the Rwanda we have today. Under his reign, Rwanda became a Christian nation. He converted to Christianity, which made Rwandans convert to Christianity. Before then, Belgian colonists had struggled to convert our ancestors.

Mutara Rwanda 2020
Mutara III Rudahigwa, the last king of the Rwandan monarchy.

His royal palace home was in Nyanza. Till today, you can visit what used to be his home. In 1935, when Belgians changed the existing social-economic classes into ethnic groups, he was the king in charge. The colonists socially engineered the classes ( Hutus, Tutsis, and Twas) to fit their divide and conquer colonial strategy. Some of his chiefs known as Abatware resisted initially to register their people under these classes, but he warned them of the danger the Rugiganas were to imposed had they not follow the rule.

King Rudahigwa is the most remembered king in the history of Rwanda. The new ethnic groups are what later translated into a genocide in 1994. His reign was just full of trials and tribulations. Belgian colonial rule was at its peak, but he managed the kingdom under difficult and complicated times. Registration of ethnic groups in their books, the worst famine in the history of Rwanda, Ruzagayura in World War II, the ethnic tensions in 1959, and the troubles that followed up. On a positive note though, He negotiated Rwanda’s the independence with the Belgians and refused to stay under Belgian colonial rule. In the end, he was killed by Belgians in Bujumbura. He died from poisonous food.

Thanks for reading. These are some of my favorites Kings throughout the history of Rwanda. I have been reading about the history of Rwanda so I will be sharing some stories. Feel free to follow my blog if you would like to keep with Rwandan stories.

Until then, keep calm and love the history of my motherland. This is my heritage.

References

The Kings of Rwanda ( Wiki page).

Amoko y’Abanyarwanda ( Wikirwanda.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rwanda is the place to visit, 2018

The number of UK visitors to Rwanda has grown by 21%, according to the African country’s official promotion brand Visit Rwanda.

Its full-year 2017 figures show 16,000 business and leisure travelers from the UK, a fifth more than in 2016.

Visit Rwanda says travelers are making their way to the country for wildlife, new premium lodges, and its scenery.

Visit Rwanda, which became the official tourism partner of Arsenal Football Club last week, has been focusing on promoting the new ‘tourism circuit’ including all three of the East African country’s national parks at Akagera, Nyungwe, and Volcanoes, as well as Lake Kivu and the Capital Kigali.

Visitors are also choosing more experiences, such as kayaking, cycling, and trekking, Visit Rwanda said.

RwandAir launched services from London Gatwick to Kigali onboard new Airbus A330 last year.

Upcoming hotel openings include One & Only’s Nyungwe House in Nyungwe Park in October 2018 and Gorilla’s Nest in Volcanoes National Park in summer 2019.

Wilderness Safaris will unveil Magashi Camp in Akagera Park in December 2018 and Singita will open Kwitonda lodge in Volcanoes National Park in August 2019.

Renovations have been carried out at Virunga Lodge, Five Volcanoes and Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Volcanoes National Park.

Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, said: “We’re humbled to see so many more UK visitors head to Rwanda. We are a clean, green country with the friendliest people in Africa and some of the most beautiful scenery you can find on the continent.

“Rwanda has opened up in recent years, enabling visitors to explore our country safely and in comfort. We look forward to welcoming even more UK tourists as we unveil more attractions and accommodation in the coming months.”

https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/thomas-goodfellow/kigali-2020-politics-of-silence-in-city-of-shock ( What Critics say about Rwanda and Vision 2020)

 

 

What to do about Illegal Immigration from Africa to Europe?

The illegal migration issue to Western Europe is an #African issue. It should not have been allowed to be a #European issue. If we want to be treated with dignity and respect, we have got to start owning and solving our issues instead of shifting responsibilities to others.

#Africa is big and rich enough to accommodate our brothers and sisters in need of help. Do we really need any #money and #aid for that too?

African people deserve better #leadership and #respect around the world. If we want to solve poverty issues in Africa and migration to Europe, we need to switch our #Eurocentric education to an #Afrocentric education in primary and secondary schools.

When I finished high school, I knew more about #Europe than I knew about #Africa. My history was called ” traditional” and ” indigenous”. I knew more about French literature than African literature. What do we expect to happen when an African child finishes secondary school and have never read about #ChinuaAchebe ( Things Fall Apart, 1958)? But they have read all Shakespeare plays and Moliere books?

Let’s be honest with ourselves about the elephant in the room. Or else, we are lying to ourselves. All talk no action. How do they not know about this?

African Union is a joke of an organization. All talk no action. What are they doing about this? They just finished another meeting in #Mauritania and nobody mentioned this issue at all. Did they not watch the news of a new ship of 600 migrants that moved from #Italy to #Spain last week?

Videos going viral means nothing when nothing gets done about it on the ground. I watched the news here in Europe about how journalists were reporting about #Africans as animals in the zoo. As an African, I felt ashamed and was disgusted.

It has been almost 9 months since video about #slavery of African migrants in Libya and Europe surfaced all of over the whole world. We all were shocked about it. We complained about it, shared our opinions on social media platforms. After one month, we all moved on by our lives.

We need to do better. Get angry about our #mediocrity and change things for the better. I only have hope in my fellow African youth. I can’t say the same about our old representative folks at the top. Read more about how to solve this issue below.

https://www.quora.com/Is-the-migrant-population-from-Africa-desirable-in-Europe/answer/Didier-M-Champion