May Paul Kagame’s Vision 2020 Rest In Peace. It was recently pronounced dead. I repeat — Kagame’s fantasy of turning Rwanda into a middle-income country of per capita income by 2020 is no more.
Why do I say that?
What is my evidence?
I invite you to read the January 2018 Review of Rwanda’s economy by the International Monetary (IMF) titled “Rwanda: Eighth Review Under the Policy Support Instrument and Request for Extension, and Third Review Under the Standby Credit Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Rwanda.”
Such reviews are undertaken annually by the IMF staff following discussions with country officials — in this case, Rwandan officials. The discussions and the review focus on economic developments and policies financially supported by the IMF.
The IMF’s January 2018 review of Rwanda is something of a bombshell — it categorically tells us the following Rwandan economic realities:
“After a slowdown in 2016 and early 2017, growth has started to recover, led by agriculture and services…Despite these achievements, the Rwandan economy remains vulnerable to external shocks and fiscal risks…Building on its notable progress toward development objectives, the [Rwandan] authorities are crafting a revised medium term development strategy with the goal of achieving middle income status by 2035.”
Dear General Paul Kagame, stop lying to the people of Rwanda that you are capable of changing their social-economic conditions. Assuming that you manage to cling to power for 17 more years up to 2035, Rwanda under you will remain poor. What you failed to achieve between 2000 and 2018, you won’t achieve from 2019 to 2035.
The reason is simple. You cannot possibly change who you are — a dictator living like a king. A totalitarian ruler, leading a political party that has accumulated US$500 million wealth. A ruler whose priority is to make the capital city look impressive on the surface without a sewage system. A powerful dictator without real power — as in electricity. How can a country of 12 million advance with 200 megawatts of electricity? That can’t even power a single steel mill or a data center. Young people who graduate from your shambolic higher education cannot fix anything.
For these reasons, you are an autocrat under whose watch millions of your countrymen and women will remain trapped in subsistence agriculture.