For a long time, the real estate industry has been mostly undisturbed by technology, calmly existing in a space where antiquated systems and standard

How do you envision Rwanda in the next 100 years?

100 years ago, it was the end of WW I (1918). After Germany was defeated, the kingdom of Rwanda was handed over from German to Belgian colonial rulers.

Think about what happened between then and now. I have read somewhere that Belgians expected their colonies ( Rwanda, Burundi, and DRC) to get independence by 2000-2010!

Kigali in the 60’s or 70’s versus Kigali today ( 2018). Who would have thought?

Think about it for a moment. They had hoped to colonize Rwanda from 1918 to 2010. Approximately, 90 years. Now, look at the reality of what happened. Independence in 1962, brutal genocide in 1994, and the country starting over from scratch and recovering the horror and misery of 1990–1994.

Now go back 20 years ago in 1997/1998 ( from today) when RDF followed FDRL in the bushes of Congo. My family lived by the border of Rwanda/DRC in 1997/1998. The war of 1997 when Ex-FAR was forcing their way back into Rwanda was a terrible battle. Three years before, the 1994 genocide was even worse. I mean, how can you predict the future?

If you had asked me in 1997/1998, when would Rwanda be in 2017, I would have laughed if you had told me that Rwanda will be as peaceful and progressive as it is today. During those years, I saw the horror that no young child should ever see.

It is simply impossible to predict the future of a young nation like Rwanda. By 2022, we will only be 60 years old as a republic. technically, we are only about 25 years old, starting from 1994.

When the liberation war started (in 1990), who would have thought that “Kinani” reign would finally come to an end? RPF was just an underdog, barely getting by. The FAR troops had a superpower backing them ( France). Their soldiers were more trained and had more equipment and resources. Who ( in their right mind) thought that RPF battle was not a suicide mission for them? You simply cannot predict the future.

In 2018, I am happy that those terrible days are gone. We have recovered, survived, and are now living in peace, unity, safety, and security. Personally, I am very hopeful about Rwanda’s future. I hope we never forget where we came from. I hope tribalism, identity politics, hate, divisionism, and other cancers never find their way and doors in our society.

If we can keep up with what we have been doing for another 20–30 years, Rwanda is going places for sure. For now, I can only give you my Vision 2050. About 30 years from Vision 2020.

Any of the answers below is a brief overview.

Didier Champion’s answer to What is your review of Rwanda?

Didier Champion’s answer to When will Rwanda become a developed country?

Didier Champion’s answer to What is the economic future of Rwanda?

From an economic miracle ( 2000–2010) to a model for economic development ( 2010–2020), what does Rwanda needs to do to ensure steady economic growth for the next 30 years? From Vision 2020 to Vision 2050. This what Rwanda has done and what it needs to do.

Aerial view of Kigali Convention Center (Rwanda), the most expensive building in Africa. Photo Credit: Rwanda the Heart of Africa

  • Become a middle-income country by 2020.
    • Target will be achieved.
  • Become the first aid free country by 2024.
    • Rely on trade, business, tourism, and FDIs.
    • Target will be achieved. In 2018, only 17% of our national budget came from aid and soft loans. In the next 6 years, we can do it.
  • Become a knowledge-based economy by 2025-2030. We have to transition from subsistence agriculture into modern tech farming techniques. Ensure food security.
    • It has not worked as advertised IMHO, but they are working on it. Instead of 2025, it will be 2030.
  • Affordable healthcare and education.
    • Over 95% of the Rwandan population has healthcare today. My family pays $40 a year for 4 members of my family. In the US, I was paying $500 in college and did not even dental coverage.
    • Free education for primary and secondary education ( 12 years of basic education).
  • Make Rwanda, a business-friendly country to attract investors from all over the world. Low levels of corruption
    • Ease of Doing Business ranking ranks Rwanda 2nd or 3rd after Mauritius.
    • Rwanda comes 3rd in Africa among the least corrupted countries in Africa ( Mauritius and Seychelles).
  • Efficiency and accountability from government institutions. Ensure strong institutions rather than individual personnel.
    • Rwanda has the most efficient system of government in Africa. We are ranked 7th globally. We are not rich, but we have learned to use our resources well.
    • Work in progress, but they are on a good track.
    • Institutions keep getting stronger and more efficient. This will always be “work-in-progress”.

We have made some good economic progress, but we have some work to do. Below is a good summary of what we need to do sustain the foundation of what we have achieved and to start building an economic powerhouse for all Rwandans.

To achieve the vision 2050 targets, we have to do the following.

  • We have to create 4 other big cities in addition to Kigali: Musanze, Rubavu, Huye, and one more. Smart Cities: Kigali, Rwanda
  • Modernize our agricultural and farming sector. We have a small country ( by Africa’s standards), so our production from these sectors is important for our self-reliance and independence.
  • Make the transition from an agricultural based economy to a modern high tech-based economy.
  • Revolutionize our tertiary education sector to graduate job creators and not job seekers. Innovation and creativity in our universities especially the STEM ( medicine, engineering, ICT, and many others).
  • Continue to boost the tourism sector and attracting foreign direct investments from all over the world.

There are more to add on this list, but you get the idea. We have made lots of progress, but we definitely have more work to do. Sustaining an average 8–10% GDP growth in the next 20–30 years would definitely make us the “ Rwanda ( Singapore) of Africa” by 2050.

I will leave more references for those who want to learn more about Rwanda Today. I call it Rwanda 101: Introduction to Modern Rwanda.

Didier Champion’s answer to How do Rwandans feel about Paul Kagame’s vision of Rwanda as ‘The Singapore of Africa’?

The world seems to think that we are rising today. But as a Rwandan, I say that we have been rising for years. Right now, we are getting ready to take off.

Think of Rwanda as a plane ( RwandAir), the national air carrier for Rwanda.

As we progress through the future, all the engines below will be the driving force of our social and economic transformation of Rwanda.

  • 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 excitement for today and the future.
  • Engine 4 is getting there: Steady economic growth.
  • Engine 5 is always “ work in progress”: Sustainable Development.

At every stage of our dreams,

  • We have to stay united, peaceful, and accountable together.
  • We have to stay true to ourselves and never forget where we came from. Remembering our past “ugly” history, and striving to create a better Rwanda for our future together as one people.
  • Stay away from identity politics. We don’t have time for such nonsense. Keep focusing on cooperation and exchanges of constructive ideas instead of opposing and fighting with one another for the sake of being “democratic” and appeasing the West. In my opinion, our version of democracy is working just fine. We have got to keep it for another 30 years or so.
  • Engines #1, #2, and #3 should always be the foundation of our country. The success we have today is because these engines are already warmed up, fully functional and working quite well. We need to keep these engines running. Whatever faults and malfunctions that appear, needs to be fixed ASAP to keep RwandAir in the skies. Minor turbulences might present at some point, but we need to stay calm and fix them together.
  • Engine #4 and #5 will always be “work in progress”. As long as the first 3 engines are good, the other 2 will follow. Rwandans have always been hardworking and resilient.
    • Together, there won’t be anything we won’t achieve.
    • Together, there won’t be any dream we cannot dream.
    • Together, there won’t be any sky, we can’t touch with our own hands.
    • Rwandan sons and daughters will make it happen.
  • Today, we are striving to create a politically and economically free-Rwanda. An independent state that relies on ourselves only.
  • A country that is able to produce a majority of the goods and services for herself, trade with her neighbors and the rest of the world; more exports than imports.
  • Rwanda wants to be financially free and independent by 2025. Right now, Rwanda has cut down “ aid dependency” from 86% in 2000 to 15–17% today ( 2018). To be the Singapore of Africa, we have to be an aid-free country.

To achieve this rather ambitious goal,

Rwanda has been promoting tourism and investment sectors for years. Rwanda will need to modernize every sector of their economy to stay competitive and to be a net exporter of goods and services.

Downtown Kigali, the political and economic capital city of Rwanda. Photo Credit: Jamal Muhoza

  • These various industries include manufacturing, agro-processing, mining and energy, financial services and ICT, health services and education, real estate and construction, and above all, tourism for branding and marketing.
  • Modernizing these industries will increase our GDP, create more jobs for a healthy and sustainable Rwanda. Although our economic growth has been remarkable, we have a long way to go.

Compared to where we started from, literally from nothing on the bottom of the sea, we have achieved quite a bit and should be proud of ourselves. However, we have more work to do. We can and need to do more.

Like our president always says: “ It is no time to sit and relax”. We have to keep going. A densely populated small country like ours cannot sit back and relax. We have to be on the move constantly, working and improving ourselves on both micro and macroeconomic levels.

President of Rwanda and the head of the African Union, Paul Kagame ( AU Summit, April 2018). Photo credit: Africa news.

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

Looking at how far we have come and what we have achieved in less than 2 decades, I am very optimistic about our potential for a bright future together. Whether we will be the Singapore of Africa or the Rwanda of Africa, what matters to me is that Rwanda is here to stay today.

  • We survived, now we are living.
  • In the future, we don’t just want to live, we want to prosper.

It has been a pleasure following and watching Rwanda rise and shine.

  • The future of Rwanda is brighter than a shining star.
  • In the years to come, Rwanda will be like that “ city on the hill”. Personally, I want it to be the Rwanda of Africa. If Rwanda can do it, then no other African country would have an excuse.

Until then, Keep calm and love Rwanda.

For more on Rwanda ( Rise and Shine Rwanda ) and Africa ( Africa is Home ), follow my blogs. I share my insights on Rwanda and Africa through trade, tourism, investment, and more. If you like this article, you will love my opinions.

Kigali today ( 2018), “starting from the bottom, now we are here”.

References

Below are another set of answers related to this topic. Each one of them will give you some information about “Rwanda Today, my Rwanda 101 course”.

Didier Champion’s answer to What do Rwandans think of Paul Kagame?

Didier Champion’s answer to What does the future look like for Rwanda?

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?

Vision 2050 ( Dreaming big and staying accountable together as Rwandans).

Will Rwanda ever be the Singapore of Africa or will stay the Rwanda of Africa

Didier Champion’s answer to How do Rwandans feel about Paul Kagame’s vision of Rwanda as ‘The Singapore of Africa’?

Didier Champion’s answer to What are the chances of Rwanda becoming the ‘Singapore of Africa’?

Didier Champion’s answer to Refer to this statement, “Rwanda is the Singapore of Africa.” How do the Singaporeans react when they reach Rwanda?

Cheers to the future of Rwanda ( Vision 2050).

Didier Champion