Looking at the fast development of Rwanda, some people call the country of thousand hills the Singapore of Africa. Instead of being the Singapore of Africa, Rwanda is Rwanda of Africa.
Rwanda is a developing sub-Saharan African country located in the central and east of the continent. It is Landlocked and bordered by the Republic Democratic of Congo to the west, Tanzania to the east, Uganda to the north and Burundi to the south. In 1994 the country faced the genocide against Tutsi, one of the worst historical tragedies of the twentieth century. Today there is a sign of healing, Rwandans are reconciled and busy working for development. There has been a remarkable economic turnaround over the twenty-four years.
Why is Rwanda compared to Singapore, such a world megalopolis and economic hub? Looking at the way Rwanda is performing on the African arena, you can’t hesitate to do a such comparison.
Singapore is known for its Easy Doing Business; So is Rwanda.
The 2017 World Bank Doing Business Report ranked Rwanda second in Africa after Mauritius. Easy company registration— done online—, facilitation of businesses, easy taxes payment, and easy way of obtaining a construction permit, …. are some of the qualities which promote Rwanda to that position.
According to Transparency International, Rwanda is the second country with lower level of corruption in Africa. As a matter of fact, since 2005-2015 outside— foreign— investments have multiplied up to thirty. The geographic location of Rwanda is playing a big role in facilitating businesses. The country is the intersection of the central and the east Africa, this means it is at the doors of the central market— according to the Rwanda Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, one of Rwanda-DR Congo border posts, Rubavu-Goma is crossed by 45000-50000 people a day— or the eastern market— the East African community. Being multilingual is another fact that can influence investors. Rwanda has four official languages (English, French, Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda), a former Belgian UN-protectorate and francophone, in 2009 Rwanda became a member of the Common Wealth.
As reports show, the Land of Thousand Hills is an emerging powerhouse in business on the continent. However, anyone can wonder how much better are infrastructures in this country often referred to a Singapore of Africa.
Kigali is one of the smartest cities of Africa
Looking at the rising of skyscrapers, wonderful buildings and the cleanness make Kigali a smart city. The government of Rwanda is doing the best in transforming the lifestyle of the capital city as it is becoming an international meeting hub. The Rwandan government has now a partnership with Nokia and SRG in order to deploy smart city technology in Rwanda.
The booming Tourism industry
As the government started promoting tourism, that promotion has been a threshold to the buildings around the country. For instance, the Kivu Belt road, future Bugesera International airport and the promotion of second cities after Kigali— The speed range of buildings in Rwanda is unlikely elsewhere in Africa.
The tourism industry is leading foreign exchanges more than coffee and tea. In 2016, tourism earned 480 million dollars and the Rwanda Development Board is planning to double it by 2024. In Rwanda you will not find the Singaporean Garden Bay but you will find the Virunga National Park and mountain gorillas.
In the Land of Thousand Hills you will not find the Singapore Zoo and the Jurong Bird Park but you will find the Akagera National Park (home to lions, zebras, impala, cheetahs, buffalos, elephants and more) and the Nyungwe National Park (rainforest park and home to chimpanzees, owl-faced and colobus monkeys and 310 species bird).
Rwanda came from a very dark past, and in two decades there are remarkable achievements. Behind any historical success there is a hero, ipso facto Singapore has Lee Kuan Yew and Rwanda has Paul Kagame.
A nation and it hero.
President Kagame is a Rwandan hero, he is the one, on his presidency who raised again the “terra incognita” Rwanda, famous. For Rwandans, he is a hero and visionary. In the western part of the country, people composed a song with supporting words”Iyarinze Kagame izandinda, nda ndambara yandera ubwoba…” meaning the God that saved Kagame will save me too, I’m not afraid of any war. According to the World Economic Forum Trust in Politicians 2018, Rwanda is at the tenth place before USA, France and UK in trusting politicians.
Calling Rwanda Singapore of Africa is only a comparison but with based on facts mentioned. Some people call this developing country” the Switzerland or Luxembourg of Africa”. They do without a purpose of marketing it but because this country shares one or two things with those countries.
A fast economic transformation, peace and political stability are qualities that make Rwanda be compared to all those countries. However, still there is a long way to go. One of the purpose of the Rwandan government is to transform the country into Rwanda of Africa rather than Singapore, Luxembourg or Switzerland of Africa.