It is a small landlocked nation with a population of over 10 million people. It has few natural resources, no international port, and is viewed with skepticism or outright hostility by many neo-liberal democracies. Kagame has sought to alter this viewpoint, and the book is largely a manifesto of sorts to his ideals. Kagame has pushed for an open for business attitude in Rwanda by promoting international investment and encouraging pro-business laws and ideals.
At the same time, he is seeking to mend ties with a community that once killed their own neighbours in brutal fashion, while maintaining the security of a state surrounded by East African neighbours with their own agendas, ethnic make-up and conflicts. The book is highly praiseworthy of Kagame, so much so as to resemble a corporate biography which is its intention.
This style did not work for me at all as my rating can attest. I enjoy reading about Rwanda, the "Singapore of Africa" supposedly, because I enjoy developmentalism as a subject. The book lacks much in the way of important information on how Kagame is doing things, and instead focuses on his "drive, ambition, courage" etc. This glowing book is difficult to read as it offers little concrete information on the subject at hand, and focuses solely on character traits which are not helpful in the least.
It looks at the intentions of Rwanda as stated by the RPF and its leaders, but offer no critical insight, no metrics or information, and indeed, little sources at all, besides other books like Stephen Kinzer's A Thousand Hills , a much more in depth analysis of Kagame and his regime in Rwanda. As mentioned, I enjoy books on alternative governance styles, and Kagame's fits the build of interest for me. However, this book glosses over his authoritarian tendencies, which may seem controversial, but are much more understandable in the context of Rwanda's many security issues.
It seems the authors were intending this book for a specific audience of Westerners unfamiliar with Rwanda besides the genocide. They leave much information on Kagame's role in the Congo conflict they barely mention it at all. It is inexplicable to me why they would do this. It is a huge part of the story, and needs to be told in order to gain a concrete understanding of Rwanda's struggles, and why many feel it is such a hopeful nation in the global community. Whether one would compliment or condemn and indeed, this is the struggle faced by the international community, both racked with guilt over their role in the conflict, but ever critical of any system not mirroring their own Rwanda is a literal ray of light for the world.
This is a nation that has gone from devastated to rapid growth in just over 10 years. It is one of the most promising investments in Africa. It's leader is a fascinating person marred by interesting flaws, controversies and possessed with clear strengths and wisdom. Rwanda is a fascinating topic in the modern world. Frankly, however, I did not enjoy this book. It's glowing portrait glosses over the facts.
It is poorly sourced, and offers little useful or practical information. It is a bland CEO-biography style book. It has some interesting moments and insights on Rwanda's success, and it is a hopeful book in tone, which is refreshing. However, it struggles to keep ones interest due to it's lack of personality. This can be safely passed over for more interesting material for most readers, but for those looking for a book on Rwanda that is not so depressing or cynical, and know little of the country in modern times, this is a good introduction point.
It has a purpose to serve, but it did not do so for me. I don't hear much about sub-Saharan Africa, and didn't expect a description of the current state of Rwanda to be too positive. My expectation was partly due to what I expected to be the lingering effects of a brutal civil war and genocide from less than 20 years ago. My expectation was also partly due to the recent devastating economic downturn in the Eurozone and the U.
So I was somewhat surprised that tiny Rwanda, as opposed to so much of the rest of the developed w I don't hear much about sub-Saharan Africa, and didn't expect a description of the current state of Rwanda to be too positive. So I was somewhat surprised that tiny Rwanda, as opposed to so much of the rest of the developed world and in contrast to most African nations, actually is experience an improving economy and improvements in government.
As the subtitle of this book indicates, Rwanda now appears to be the new model for development in central Africa. The author s paint the prospect for a promising future for Rwanda. And while problems still exist, they appear to be nowhere near as serious as I might have guessed.
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Going from a failed state just a few years ago, to a country which is achieving impressive economic development is a wonderful achievement. And it was especially impressive to hear of how the Country has managed to overcome the affects of the civil war, and how the government was able to foster peace given the massacre of over , Tutsi's at the hand of the majority Hutu's only two decades ago. So much of what we hear of central Africa involves tribal wars, criminal heads of state, exploitation of the people and resources, etc. Good governance is not typically a term associated with central African nations, so while not quite perfect, the authors find things to praise about the leadership style of President Paul Kagame and his vision for the future.
The country is at peace and among the most stable on the continent. More importantly, Rwanda's progress seems to offer an example for other developing nations to lift themselves out of poverty without heavy reliance on foreign aid.
Rwanda country profile
The authors leave you with a degree of hope for this region of Africa which has seen little but constant strife over the past decades. Apr 21, Reading rated it liked it. If you are looking for a book that provides a broad overview of the recent history of Rwanda, especially one focused on economic developments since the genocide, then you have found your book. The author makes a bit of an effort to scrutinize both sides of the recent development rush that has been taking place yet I couldn't help feeling their pro business bias toward capitalism and free markets as the answer.
Granted they give voice to some of the concerns raised by critics and also qualify tha If you are looking for a book that provides a broad overview of the recent history of Rwanda, especially one focused on economic developments since the genocide, then you have found your book. Granted they give voice to some of the concerns raised by critics and also qualify that Rwanda is a special case - still there is very little mention of other economic models that could be considered; worker cooperatives, less privatization, less extractive investment models.
It's as if in one breath the book is saying 'care and consideration are given to focusing on Rwanda first', yet repeatedly we see examples of outside investors bringing money to the table and then selling the company later for a handy profit. It's a slippery book and although I can't put my finger on it I just didn't trust the author's sincerity in asking the hard questions and exploring all corners and options.
It is worth noting the number of Fortune CEO's that grace the back cover with their praise of the book - including JP Morgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, whom the author coincidently wrote a gushing biography about. One suspects, and the book often demonstrates that the author's access and the questions she asked are framed within certain boundaries otherwise she might not get or maintain her access to the world of money and privilege.
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I can say that I want to learn more and that this book did inform my opinion of the country and I am glad that I read it in preparation for my upcoming trip there. Jul 05, Urmila rated it liked it. It's rare to hear good news in the news. Which is why it was so refreshing to read about how far Rwanda has come since the horrors of the civil war and genocide of the early 90's.
It takes 24 hours to register a business in Rwanda. Few nations can boast such rapid progress, even ones that haven't experienced such utter devastation. The book doesn't delve particularly deep into accusations from some corners of President Paul Kagame's authoritarian streak, choosing to present the government's rebuttals to criticism at face value these rebuttals tend to be along the lines of "the people who criticise us were architects of the genocide and want to see Rwanda fail".
I'd be interested to read a more nuanced take on the criticisms of the Kagame administration, in order to better understand why they seem so sticky. Leaving this aside and giving the benefit of the doubt based on the outcomes, it was quite inspiring to read about the high level vision and core principles that have steered Rwanda to be a model of hope, stability and progress in a troubled region. Jul 03, Lelo rated it it was amazing.
World Report Rwanda | Human Rights Watch
Really interesting picture of Rwanda and it's history since , especially and beyond. The book gives a cursory history that is easy-to-read though tragic , succinct and compelling. I find the governance of Rwanda to be very interesting as it seems a lot more progressive and effective than what I've seen from living in Tanzania for the last eight years. I do feel that Kagame has been a good example of African leadership and the proof is in the pudding. I feel that there is a good impulse Really interesting picture of Rwanda and it's history since , especially and beyond.
I feel that there is a good impulse to collaborate with westerners while maintaining your sovereignty as a nation and Kagame seems to have found that. Interesting that this book was written over five years ago and that it ended looking forward to succession. Of course Kagame did amend the constitution and is still in the presidency. It'd be great to have a few more chapters that cover what has happened since All the same, a good book and a quick read.
Nov 09, Quinn rated it liked it. An interesting look at the economics behind the recovery of a country torn by genocide. I found a couple of things really interesting. First, the book made is sound like the reason Rwanda has done so well since is because it doesn't receive a bunch of foreign aid. The Rwandan's themselves know they're going to have to pull themselves out of poverty and set policies to help encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. The second is how their president Paul Kagame has been pivotal in turning the cou An interesting look at the economics behind the recovery of a country torn by genocide.
The second is how their president Paul Kagame has been pivotal in turning the country around.
It makes you wonder a little about when Kagame will step down and allow Rwanda's next democratically elected president to take office. The book was a bit of a dichotomy that way.
World Population Review
There was a lot about how strong Rwanda had become and how it'll be fine when Kagame's term ends and then in the next paragraph, words of worship about how great Kagame was and how he had done all these things that no one else could do. Feb 25, Cy Winther-Tamaki rated it liked it. The authors portrayed Kagabe as quite the hero, which I believe is well deserved, but they also made a big deal of their hope and expectation that he would not change the constitution and seek a third term as president Nov 05, William Baker rated it it was amazing.
A very thorny issue, very difficult to see through, if not impossible, and as such it can serve as a sample for gauging the complexity of the whole of humanity, without jumping to hasty conclusions. Oct 29, Simon Semelin rated it really liked it. Tony Blair i sitt arbete. Aug 20, Jared rated it liked it Shelves: africa.
What Rwanda gets right
It talked about Rwanda's economic recovery in the years following the genocide that occurred there in The book provides some of the background and factors that lead up to the genocide. The book gives a very favorable characterization of Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame. The book talks about how Kagame's lea [I listened to the audio book] I enjoyed this book. The book talks about how Kagame's leadership has helped to translate into economic success as well.
Instead of staying labeled as a pariah of east Africa, Rwanda has flourished socially and economically. Rwanada does not have much in terms of natural resources other than tourism, but it has made strides in the IT industry and banking sector. Rwanda did not have much, but it was willing to try something new. Hopefully, other countries in east Africa will see Rwanda's success and will follow similarly successful economic models.
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Aug 18, Lauren Milewski rated it it was ok. It took me a long time to finish this book because it wasn't very good. I found that it dealt overwhelmingly with the narrative coming from Rwanda's government and a few high-level people in the private sector, along with their cheerleaders in the Western world Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, etc. There was very little perspective from typical Rwandans about how life in their country is changing.
Today, the term Third World is used to describe a country that is not developed as much as other countries and faces economic, social, political, environmental and other issues. This has led to some confusion as to how the term was originally used. For example, there were several European countries that were not aligned with NATO or the Communist Bloc that are quite prosperous today. Going by the historical definition, nations including Finland , Sweden , Ireland and Switzerland were Third World countries.
Based on the definition that is used today, these would not be considered Third World countries. Instead, it is being replaced with terms including least developed countries, developing countries and the Global South. These countries have weaknesses in areas including nutrition, education and literacy, have economic vulnerabilities, and have widespread poverty. There are many countries around the world classified as a developing country.