After informing a colleague by a text message that I was in Rwanda for a few weeks and giving them my number I got the following reply.
“I don’t care what you are doing there, but I honestly wonder why out of all places in the world you would end up in troubled Rwanda” Why are you deliberately putting your life in danger ?
I must say I felt like this the first time I excepted to do the assignment in Rwanda and also when I landed at Kigali airport.
However, having visited a number of African countries I must say I am impressed with how the system is well organised in the post conflict Rwanda and how safe it is to be in Rwanda at the moment. Well for a start when I arrived in Kigali I was expecting chaos but I had a smooth first day with a warm welcome.
I thought security was a big issue but was surprised that people can walk freely at night (and I did so too all the time I was there; tried to do this once in Nairobi Kenya and I was mugged!!!!).
After spending the first night in Kigali at Iris Hotel I was ready for my assignment which involved talking to people. Upon enquiry I was told that every one had a national identity card and that the law was very strict and required you to be able to identify your self at all times.
I also learnt that every worker had a social security number and also a health insurance number and that these three were linked up in such a way that if you only gave one number to authorities they would be able to find out everything about .This system was not only limited to people in cities like Kigari and Butare but also to local villages. Interestingly everyone in Rwanda had a health insurance and they were able to pay for all their family members.
Most importantly I enjoyed the various amount of food that they have.
Well Rwanda is not as bad as we all think. But they must market themselves more to the outer world to be known that there is peace.
Meanwhile I have returned to Malawi
Have you been to Rwanda?