DEVELOPMENT in RWANDA – TRAILFIRE
By: Gerald Witherspoon
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) was chosen because allows the local government to speak for itself in regards to what its development intentions are. As stated on the website, its vision is to “transform Rwanda into a dynamic global hub for business, investment, and innovation” with a mission toward “fast tracking economic development in Rwanda by enabling private sector growth” (Rwanda Development Board 2014). RDB is an independent conglomeration of the key Ministers from finance, commerce, infrastructure, and agriculture who report directly to the president. Most strikingly, the RDP is modeled on the international best practice examples of Singapore and Costa Rica (Rwanda Development Board 2014).
Rwandapedia is a free an open repository and a great source for gaining a quick glimpse (documents, images, videos, audio recordings) into Rwanda’s development (Rwandapedia 2014). The main document repository includes documents as specialized as the Government of Rwanda Seven Year program 2010-2017 to the Arusha Accords: Protocol on the Rule of the Law to a Chronology of the Genocide against the Tutsi (the most comprehensive one I have found thus far), to the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda – 2003 (Rwandapedia 2014). These sources culminate to deliver a comprehensive view of historical to modern development in Rwanda.
The Central Intelligence Agency publishes the World Factbook (Central Intelligence Agency, 2014). This resource offers detailed information on Rwanda including background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues. Insight into development across all sectors can be implicated by analyzing factors as intricate as the type of natural resources and hazards, environmental and geographical issues, ethnic groups, languages, religions, population, birth and death rates, education, major infectious diseases, government type, the legal system, political parties and leaders, international organization participation, GDP, Gross national saving, industries, budget and public debt, imports and exports, electricity-crude oil-refined petroleum-natural gas-and carbon dioxide emissions, number of telephones in use and internet hosts and users, airports , roadways, waterways, and port terminals, military manpower and expenditures, These elements serve as a great research parameter when attempting to gain a complete picture of development in Rwanda.
As reported on its website, “Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people worldwide. We scrupulously investigate abuses, expose the facts widely, and pressure those with power to respect rights and secure justice” (2014). Because conflict impedes development, I chose to not only look at external conflict, but internal conflict. In a state where a history of genocide is significant, it becomes imperative to get a second opinion on what is really going on there. Often, the biggest advertisers of freedom and democracy are the biggest violators of human rights violations. Human Rights Watch offers a rounded perspective on development by researching and reporting on the realities on the ground.
Finally, there can be no development without the finance of development programs. Therefore, I turned to the World Bank as it was a global institution involved in development lending. Further, the institution claims a commitment to “Push extreme poverty to no more than 3% by 2030 and promote shared prosperity and greater equity in the developing world” (World Bank 2014). This commitment is in line with the government of Rwanda and therefore I though it a fruitful endeavor to see what the World Banks’s view of Rwanda progress was.
Finally, in Rwanda, issues of ethnic re-unification or divisionism trump religious influence on politics. However, the CIA World Factbook establishes Roman Catholicism and Protestantism as the most influential religions there.
Central Intelligence Agency . Africa: Rwanda. 2014. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rw.html.(accessed September 25, 2014).
Human Rights Watch. Rwanda: Repression Across Borders. January 28, 2014.http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/01/28/rwanda-repression-across-borders(accessed August 27, 2014).
Rwanda Development Board. Our Vision and Mission. 2014. http://www.rdb.rw/about-rdb/vision-and-mission.html.(accessed September 25, 2014).
Rwandapedia . Documents. 2014. http://www.rwandapedia.rw/documents. (accessed September 25, 2014).
World Bank. Rwanda Overview. 2014. http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/rwanda/overview#3 (accessed August 20, 2014).