2012 has ended peacefully in Rwanda and new year celebrations around Kigali did not claim any victims thanks to the vigilance of the national police. Very often, many people start a new year with lot of resolutions but very few end the year with a sense of accomplishment.
Resolutions we make at the start of the new year are mainly geared at reforming areas in our lives where we feel we need to improve so that we can lead a better life. On the new year eve, many in Rwanda go to church in the evening to end the year in the presence of God and pray for the new year to be a blessing for them and their loved ones.
I also went to church at Zion Temple in Kigali and to my surprise the church was fully packed around 20 o`clock. I tried my best to find a place to sit and enjoy the service but in vain. I finally decided to leave as it was inconvenient to just stand up til midnight to wave a good bye to 2012 and welcome 2013 in the house of God.
For many the new resolutions are still fresh by now and it is time to start working hard in order to achieve the change we need to see in our lives. Most are by now tempted to go backwards but are pushing hard to improve their lives in the coming year. Imagine someone who have decided to stop smoking. For him/her it must be hard by now as he/she is tempted to smoke again but is resolute to push hard to see the end of year come when he/she has definitely stopped smoking.
Individuals as well as nations make resolutions every other year and some are achieved and others are not. Abraham Lincoln once said:”Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” For Rwanda the end of year was marked by president Kagame`s state of the nation whereby he shared with all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda where the nation is actually standing and wished a happy new year as usual.
He took the opportunity to thank every Rwandan who participated in the population census that took place this year 2012. The president was happy to announce that population growth has decreased from 2.9% in 2002 to 2.6% in 2012. “This is a clear indication that efforts to slow down population growth have been effective and, if we continue along this path, will ensure that our economy and the well-being of Rwandans are not negatively affected”, said president Kagame.
He underlined that Rwanda is on the right path as various data show that Rwanda`s economy continue to grow. “As we end the year, our economy is predicted to grow by 7.7% mainly as a result of good yields in the service and industry sectors, which increased by 13.5% and 6% respectively in the first three quarters of the year”, the president was quoted as saying during the state of nation address.
As a country Rwanda faced a lot of challenges during 2012 especially when many development partners such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, USA, etc decided to stop development aid to Rwanda due to accusations contained in the UN group of experts rapport accusing Rwanda of supporting M23 rebels in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Accusations that were denied by the government of Rwanda.
The launch of Agaciro development fund was seen by many as a way to raise finance that the country need to invest in its development in the absence of development aid. The minister of finance John Rwangombwa said that the fund is not coming to substitute the existing funds but rather to supplement them. He went on to say that the uniqueness of the fund is that it is Rwandans themselves that will finance it voluntarily.
In case Agaciro development fund is well managed it might solve many uncertainties related to dependance on foreign aid. Gacaca courts are another example of local solution that proved themselves outstanding. Gacaca Courts that concluded this year did an outstanding job of delivering re conciliatory justice. President Kagame said during the state of nation that Gacaca courts provided solutions for huge challenges faced by Rwandans as a result of the 1994 genocide. He underlined that it is evident that Rwandans have the capacity to find solutions to challenges that they face.
As nations at the end of the year assess their achievements as well as plan to improve where it is necessary. For individuals it is the same we have some achievements we are proud of as well as areas where we need to improve our lives for the better. It is my hope that resolutions we made during new year eve will be implemented and that we will be proud of our accomplishments at the end of the year as individual as well as nations.
Good luck !!!