‘’Anu gbee ko kɛjɛ Rama, nkɔmɔyeli kɛ yaafo, Rahel miifo ebii lɛ ahe, ni ekpɛlɛɛɛ miishɛjemɔ, ejaakɛ amɛ bɛ.’’ The English rendition is:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15.
The above quote was Rwanda 25 years ago. May the souls of the one million Rwandese who were murdered RIP. May God bless Kagame and Rwanda.
Rwanda is the most unique country in the modern world.
1. It lost 1m people in 100 days by ethno-genocidal madness that targeted minority Tutsi group. A population of 8m became 7m. A nation lost 12.5% of its people in a flash. In Ghana, that would have been the entire population of Upper East & West + half of Northern region.
2. A new nation starting with probably 25% of its kids without at least one parent.
3. Redeemed by a minority-led military campaign, which intrinsically made for an unstable redemption.
4. Added to the above, Rwanda is a tiny, poor landlocked African country which required a biblical scale exodus that called for a Moses, and God provided one. Amen.
Paul Kagame got the most difficult job in modern history, and he has delivered the most impressive results since recorded history. Unfortunately, he has no peer in modern Africa.
The Rwandan miracle unravelling before our eyes is not due to Kagame’s excesses or his mistakes. They reflect an output from an extraordinary visionary. His greatest achievement yet is what I call ‘’FREEDOM TO LIFE or FTL.’’
What is freedom to life? Simply, it is when a child lives past its 5th birthday.
Countries with low Under 5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) like Singapore, Australia, UK, Cuba have high life expectancy and conversely, countries with high U5MR (Ghana, Nigeria, DRC) have low life expectancy. U5MR therefore has a high predictive value for life expectancy.
In 1962 when Rwanda attained independence its U5MR was 214/1000. By 1992, 30years after independence, the U5MR was down to 165/1000. At the end of the year of the genocide, 1994, the U5MR rose to 282/1000 (highest in Africa).
From the post genocidal year till 2015, the U5MR had dropped miraculously to 42/1000, the 3rd lowest in Africa behind South Africa (40.3/1000) and Botswana (40.6/1000) only.
No country has achieved this feat in history.
In 1994, when Rwanda was in the throes of the crisis, South Africa’s U5MR was 61 and Botswana’s was 65.4/1000. By the end of 2020, at the rate it is going, Rwanda will likely overtake South Africa and Botswana and Rwanda will become the number one guarantor of life in Africa.
At independence in 1957, Ghana’s U5MR was 228/1000. During our golden age of enlightenment between 1957 to 1966, it dropped to 194/1000, by about 3.7% (???) per year against Rwanda’s drop of 11.4 (%%) per year.
In 1994, Ghana’s U5MR was 111/1000, and Africa’s ‘’free and most democratic’’ country managed to drop the U5MR to 63/1000 by 2015, a puny 2.8% per year. What are we doing about it slow rate of improvement of U5MR? Nothing. Instead, we are busy raising funds for Cathedrals and re-writing our political history?
Shame on us!
What do you prefer, Rwanda’s freedom to life for its children or Ghana’s freedom to impunity and corruption for politicians to openly put money on the head of journalists? Rwanda celebrates solutions and results, Ghana celebrates slogans and rhetoric.
Part 2 will examine democracy and dictatorship in Rwanda and Ghana. Stay tuned.