18 years of liberation 50 years after independence.
That is what we have been celebrating in Rwanda these last days... July 1st for independence and today for liberation.
As I drove around the city of Kigali today with our latest team in town, giving them a bit of a city tour, I again marveled at how far this country has come in such a short time. Not just out from under the rule of colonization but from a genocide that killed about 1,000,000 people in 100 days.
The country and the people of Rwanda are indeed resilient, courageous and dedicated to developing their country. Construction continues to happen on every other corner it seems and many changes happen in the name of development constantly.
I was sharing with the team that when I first came to Rwanda in 2003 and then 2004, we would have electricity for 1 - 2 hours per day and usually in the middle of the night. I would leave the light on in my room and hope to wake up so I could do some ironing - at 3am! I remember finding ONE chocolate bar in a shop in Kigali. My intern at the time and I bought and split it, thinking we had found a great gift from God himself to us. When walking, one would need to watch constantly where they were stepping, as to not disappear down a random hole in the sidewalk. Not to mention internet access. What internet access?
We now have electricity round the clock (except for a few glitches every once in a blue moon, I can buy Cadbury chocolate about anywhere and we have sidewalks, I have internet access in my home ... working digital traffic lights, etc. etc. etc.
Such simple things to mention in the 18 years after genocide... and yet each part of a people who have worked hard and will continue to work hard for their country Rwanda.
I see how far the country and the people of this country have come in the last 8 years... how much further will the country be in 5 or 10 years from now. I have no doubt they will be that much closer to Kigali being the Singapore of Africa.
Check out this video... New Kigali City Concept