President Paul Kagame

A Surge of Negative Coverage

In recent weeks, European newspapers and television channels have been inundated with negative stories about Rwanda and its government. This surge in critical coverage stems from an international reporting consortium comprising 17 media outlets, including Germany’s Der Spiegel, Britain’s Guardian, and France’s Le Monde. Collectively named “Rwanda Classified,” these reports uniformly portray Rwanda as a repressive nation where fear prevails, journalists and opposition figures are silenced or killed, and democracy is a facade.

A Familiar Narrative

This narrative, although distant from the reality on the ground, is not new to Rwandans. Similar stories aimed at highlighting the so-called “dark side” of Rwanda frequently appear in Western media, particularly around significant dates on the Rwandan calendar, such as April 7, the commencement of the 100-day commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

As Rwanda commemorates the 30th anniversary of this genocide and approaches crucial presidential and parliamentary elections, the timing of this intensified scrutiny by Western media is not coincidental.

Surprising Intensity of Criticism

What is surprising, however, is the sheer volume and intensity of the current wave of attacks on Rwanda. Despite numerous global crises, from bloody conflicts and a worldwide cost-of-living crisis to the escalating threat of climate change, leading Western news organizations have dedicated extensive coverage to criticizing Rwanda.

Most troubling is that these reports predominantly rely on testimonies from Rwandans in exile, including known genocide enablers, deniers, and perpetrators with clear personal and political motives to demonize the current government.

Denying Rwanda’s Progress

It seems there is a concerted effort in the West to deny the reality of Rwanda’s remarkable post-genocide recovery. The narrative being pushed suggests that President Paul Kagame, expected to win the upcoming election comfortably, is a ruthless despot without popular support.

This depiction ignores the significant progress Rwanda has made under Kagame’s leadership, transforming from a nation devastated by genocide to one of Africa’s most stable and promising countries.

Invitation to See the Truth

Contrary to the negative portrayal, Rwanda has been actively inviting the world to “#VisitRwanda” and witness its progress firsthand. The country’s relaxed visa and settlement policies, coupled with the Rwanda Development Board’s (RDB) efforts, have made it a global destination for tourism and business. Would a nation with so much to hide strive so hard to attract foreign visitors and residents? The answer is a resounding no.

Rwanda’s Success Story

Rwanda’s story is one of Africa’s most impressive success stories. Just 30 years after experiencing one of history’s worst mass slaughters, it has emerged as a dynamic democracy with a hopeful outlook.

The country boasts one of the continent’s most stable environments, attracting thousands of tourists, businesspeople, and world leaders annually. It has hosted major sports competitions, tech and investment summits, and is home to prestigious international educational institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University – Africa and the University of Global Health Equity.

Under Kagame’s Leadership

Under President Kagame’s leadership, Rwanda has rebuilt itself into a land of business, investment, and opportunity. It functions as a well-organized welfare state with universal healthcare, education, and heavily subsidized housing. The country retains its best and brightest while attracting international talent.

The World Economic Forum ranked Rwanda first among African countries for retaining top talent. Today, Rwanda has over 1,000 dollar millionaires, with projections from British investment consultancy Henley and Partners expecting this number to increase by 80 percent in the next decade.

Western Media’s Bias

The Western media’s efforts to paint Rwanda as a repressive and hostile country will ultimately fail, especially as more people visit and see the truth for themselves. The biased critical reports will not sway Rwandans against President Kagame, who has been democratically elected twice with over 90 percent of the vote and is expected to win again. The Western media’s “hit jobs” only bolster Kagame’s popularity in Rwanda and across Africa.

Rwanda’s Independent Path

Western media targets Rwanda because it struggles to accept that this small African nation, which has overcome immense horrors, has found peace, democracy, and stability on its own terms. Rwanda refuses to reshape itself in the West’s image or to its liking, a stance that will only strengthen its unity and resolve.

In conclusion, Rwanda’s story is one of resilience and remarkable progress, despite the persistent negative portrayal by Western media. The country continues to forge its path, welcoming the world to witness its achievements and join in its journey toward a brighter future.

Source: Aljizeera 

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