Thursday, May 27, 2010

But you can't get blood from a stone

In advance of August's presidential elections, the ruling RPF is bragging about its fiscal and monetary policy. One of the key factors that keeps international donors giving the necessary funds to keep Rwanda moving economically forward is the government's management of the economy. (Note however there are few critical voices. Witness this recent policy statement from the US Department of State).

This recent posting from on the further decentralisation of the Rwandan Revenue Authority begs the question, how do you get blood from a stone?

Most Rwandans are more poor under the leadership of the RPF. True, Kigali gleams with new buildings, shiny streets and internet cafes. But some 87% of Rwandans are peasants. They own less land than they did before the genocide because of new agricultural and land policies put in place in the name of economic growth. Starvation is up, even as Rwanda reports bump crops. Bumper crops of coffee and tea do not feed people! The same people that the RPF bases its legitimacy upon and who are being told (in sensitisation speeches, radio announcements and presidential pronouncements) "to vote for the right ones this time".

Democracy without a citizenry is not democracy at all....


  1. Where are your sources on land ownership, starvation and the 87% peasantry? Not come across these figures myself.

  2. I also found the statistics on IFDA website. It is based on the percentage of people who live in rural areas--which, I honestly believe is much higher. If you're interested, check out this link

  3. Here are some sources:
    On Land ownership in Rwanda:

    Land in Rwanda: Winnowing out the Chaff
    By Alison Des Forges
    Buffalo, July 2006

    On starvation in Rwanda:

    More than 50% children in Rwanda are stunted
    By RNA Reporter
    November 13, 2009

  4. my numbers are from the Mincofin website! Check out also the Vision 20/20 document (both available online) and the UNDP Human Development Report.