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Think Tank: Why Rwanda is the leading light of Africa

In much of the western world, the narrative of Africa is one that is often plagued with ignorance and misinformation. A continent that has contributed so much to the progression of modern society has been subject to cruel judgment and unfair standards for too long. Despite skewed popular opinion, Africa has been experiencing an unprecedented growth in a multitude of different sectors, and many nations are forging paths of success that trample historical hurdles. 

The tiny East African nation of Rwanda is one of those emerging stars, and the whole world should be aware of its presence. 

If any nation should be determined to rewrite its legacy, it should be Rwanda. Perhaps one of the most notable and harrowing humanitarian crises within the late 20th century took place there and took with it the lives of over one million people.

The Rwandan Genocide was a pivotal aspect in the timeline of Rwandan history, and since then, the nation has dedicated much of its resources to repairing its image. With the new decade in full swing, much of the world can look back through the years at the resilient efforts of the Rwandan government in its rather surprising surge economically, socially and even politically. In 2018, Rwanda experienced an 8.6% growth in GDP and has remained one of Africa’s top growing economies.

Much of that growth can be attributed to president Paul Kagame’s strict attention to making Rwanda “The Singapore of Africa” in his words, and lately, much of that vision has started to pan out. 

The Singapore model has been revered and respected by many world economies, so an African take on this strategy, while not only bold, acts as catalyst for change in the entire region. 

One of the main features of the model is the ease of doing business, which describes the feasibility of how a business starts and operates within a nation given many different factors and circumstances. Rwanda sits at an impressive 29 in the world for ease of business, which is miles higher than many of its African counterparts and even higher than that of the Netherlands. On top of this, RwandAir, Rwanda’s flag carrier has experienced massive expansion, and as of 2019, Rwanda currently has a satellite in orbit, which is a massive achievement. 

Rwanda is very youth heavy, and many of them are involved in the economy. This, paired with a rising technological sector, has created a grassroots thrust of activity into the market, affecting transportation, resale, wholesale, communication and information. Companies like, a new drone-based blood delivering system have plenty of room to grow. Kagame, who has faced criticism himself, has very much set Rwanda on a path of success, investing in infrastructure, implementing a fiscal consolidation program and has even enacted an environmentally friendly initiative in Kigali, making it one of the cleanest cities in the world. 

Rwanda is a nation like no other. It has refused to accept its painful past as a defining aspect of its national identity, and instead has exceeded expectations. For such a small nation, it has a large influence around it and is a leading light in not only Africa, but the world. 

Christopher Lawrence-White is a freshman studying mechanical engineering at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Christopher know by emailing him at 

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