NIGERIA, a land that keeps promising to take-off, has over the years, had moments of national pride in its economy, politics and social welfare for its citizens. It also has had its slip side – civil war, equivalent of Rwanda’s devastating genocide. Experienced, prolonged military rule that resulted in collapse infrastructure, weakened economy and social system, elevate corrupt leadership and lost of initiative in governance in the country.
Rwanda, a small country in Central and East Africa, also,has had its glorious times and down side. Revolts, military coup, civil war — the fall-out of social tension in 1994 that led to the worst form of tribal genocide of mans inhumanity to man among citizens of the small country. Rwanda’s economy suffered heavily, which seriously impoverished the citizens – especially, women and children.
Rwanda, presently, seem to be a new nation after the unattractive past. Development in Rwanda has been rapid and progressive, especially, since the year 2000. Government policies since that year have seen Rwanda undergone rapid industrialization. Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has been quite ambitious on his industrialization programme for the recovery and transformation of the country.
Kagame’s progressive visions elevated Rwanda into a period of economic growth in 2006. In 2007, Rwanda’s economy grew by [8%]. Since that year, Rwanda’s economy recorded progressive growth – placing the country as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Between 2006 and 2011, Rwandans living in poverty reduced from 57% to 45%. Infrastructure grew rapidly, especially, connecting electricity from 91,000 in 2006 to 215,000 in 2011.
Mara Foundation – The Ashish J Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index Report, in 2016, ranked Rwanda 42, and second best country in Africa to do business. Rwanda’s economy is reinforced with per-capita GDP estimated at $2,225 in 2018 compared with $416 in 1994. Agriculture leads in Rwanda’s economy. Foreign investments in the country are on commercial establishments, mining, tea, coffee and tourism.
PARADOX is that Nigeria with population close to 200 million, largest economy in Africa, now “learns” from Rwanda. Tuesday, November 5, Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Nigerian Civil Service, led a delegation on “Post-Conflict Learning” visit to Kigali, Rwanda. Claudine Uwera, Rwanda’s Minister of State for Economic Planning received the Nigerian delegation.
According to Agency report, government of Rwanda “handed over to Nigeria keys and strategies” that led to successes recorded by the country in the last decades. Claudine Uwera, on behalf of Rwanda’s government, “advised Nigerian government to practice inclusive system of government” to ensure sustainable development.
On her part, Oyo-Ita, head of Nigeria’s delegation, stated that Nigeria’s President Buhari has been struggling to restore normalcy to the insurgent in Nigeria’s North East. She said Nigeria needed to “learn” from Rwanda which has perfected peace building, giving Rwanda’s background of a country that has come from devastating genocide. This necessitated the visit for “experience sharing”.
Oyo-Ita’s words: “Restoring Infrastructure in the frontline states that faced the crises is not enough; we also need to rebuild the public service. And Rwanda is the best country to study and learn from considering the genocide the country experienced in 1994”.
Discussions by the delegations of both countries touched on economy, health, home grown innovations and solutions, good governance and visionary leadership, gender equality”, among others. Rwanda already has development plan “Vision 2050” aimed at making Rwanda a country with high living standards by the year 2050.
Key element and purpose of Nigeria’s delegation led by Oyo-Ita on “Post-Conflict Learning” visit to Kigali, Rwanda, is not easy to place. Nigeria has, robust economy compared to Rwanda. Strategic natural economic resources. Has unquantifiable human capital to enhance good leadership and governance to drive economic recovery and growth; as well as infrastructural development – Nigeria is not in want. Simply curious and needless that such visit was undertaken.