THE RWANDA MIRACLE? Part II

Mamos Media

Fatoumatta: The Financial Times has a fascinating (and scathing) article on Paul Kagame. The August 12, 2019 piece titled “Rwanda”: The narrative that President Paul Kagame, the man without impeccable credentials, built Rwanda’s miracle from the ashes of the genocide of 1994.
An authoritarian who has steered his country from the depths of hopelessness to some impressive gains. I support what Paul Kagame has done in Rwanda for Rwandans. In short, the man unified a country whose citizens had killed one another at the rate of 800,000 in less than 100 days; 8000/day; 333/Hr. Or 5 Minutes during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Stated, it is this singular achievement that almost always contextualizes my perspective on Paul Kagame’s two-decade rule in Rwanda. During that time, AFTER a 3-month stretch of violence that nearly destroyed the country, Kagame has taken Rwanda atop the region in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Aside from being the region’s least corrupt country, Rwanda is arguably East and Central Africa’s best-governed country in Africa. As a result, you should have first-hand knowledge of the man’s utter disdain for corruption and incompetence – especially the type of selfish and wanton greed that the Gambia and its leaders have normalized.
Paul Kagame has surrounded himself with competent loyalists who he then holds accountable sans equivocation, and the results have been nothing short of impressive. One such person is Agnes Binagwho – the country’s former Minister for Health. Prof. Binagwho left her position at Harvard Med School to become Vice-Chancellor of the Butaro-based University of Global Health Equity (UGHE). The history of UGHE puts into perspective how Kigali has prioritized and optimized its limited resources.
UGHE was conceptualized in 2013 during the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Cummings Foundation-funded Butaro Outpatient Cancer Infusion Center. The ground was broken in 2016. Three years later, in July 2019, it welcomed its inaugural class (20 women and ten men) into the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery/Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MBBS/MD) programs. Having said all that, let me also say that Paul Kagame’s iron rule is needlessly alienating many people and losing him much goodwill – given he has done for his country. He is the unquestionable leader of Rwanda – by orders of magnitude – over any rival.
Diane Rwigara, his main political rival back in 2017, gained more fame as a prisoner harassed and locked up – by Kagame – than she did during her short-lived campaign for the presidency. I do not understand why Kigali has taken such a challenging and uncompromising position against someone with barely a socio-political following, let alone a viable platform to launch a sustainable campaign against Kagame. HIPPO: Highest Paid Person’s Opinion
Furthermore, for some perspective, consider that Donald Trump famously said that the unemployment rate and job creation under then-POTUS Barack Obama were “manipulated” and “fake.” Continuation of the same “fake” and “manipulated” trends is the main reason the man’s support has not tanked.
Additionally, the country’s near-decade-long economic boom started under a Democratic administration is now being threatened by dissimilar domestic and foreign economic policies of a Republican administration. Precisely, the trade war between the US and China reflects different approaches and priorities on conducting international trade and the use of tariffs as a tool to force change between trading partners. The same can be said about the disparate tax policies pursued by the two political parties.
Fatoumatta: In my view, the single-most-important metrics Rwanda/Kagame should pay attention to are summarized in a report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). The report is titled “Global Peace Index (GPI): Measuring Peace in a Complex World.” So summarized, the GPI starts with three thematic domains:
Level of Societal Safety and Security
The extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict
Degree of Militarization
It then integrates the country’s attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and sustain peace, eventually formulating its Peace Index (PI). In providing a snapshot of the participating countries’ “state of peace,” the 2018 report looked at 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators re: the absence of fear of violence in the one-hundred and sixty-three (163) countries surveyed.
Regionally, only Tanzania (#51) bested Rwanda (#103) in the GPI ranking. Even Uganda (#107) and Djibouti (#115) scored better than Kenya (#123) on the peace index (PI) score. So it does not surprise me that an authoritarian ruler AND politician, Paul Kagame IS by all measures, manipulates data to a self-serving end.
Fatoumatta: Even more unsurprising is the hypocrisy of western media and western scholars who were, for all intents and purposes, complicit in cherry-picking, make that “sexing up” data (intelligence) towards an end whose repercussions are still reverberating in Iraq and more extensive Middle East – two decades AFTER the invasion of Iraq.

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