President Kagame’s Globe-trotting Achieves What Exactly?

Here is Rwanda’s head of state impressing a gathering at the Milken Institute. Across the table is his marketer former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Kagame left Rwanda on 17 April 2015. He went on a state visit to Ethiopia. And immediately on another state visit to Algeria. And is now attending the Milken Institute Global Conference 26-29 April 2015.

So what does he sell or buy in these frequent tours that benefit Rwandans? If the newly-published development indicators by the World Bank Group are anything to go by, Kagame trips are a waste of time.

Take a look at these comparative figures on Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Kagame’s Rwanda is pathetic in every category as indicated in 2012-2013 growth rates.

GDP per capita in the four country grew as follows between 2012 and 2013:
• Rwanda’s gdp per capita expanded from $630.1 to 638.7.
• Kenya’s expanded from $1,165.7 to $1,245.5
• Tanzania’s grew from $834.8 to $912.7.
• Uganda’s grew from $652.7 to $657.4.

Embarrassingly for Kagame gdp per capita grew by only $8.6 in a year.

Gross domestic product in the four countries grew as follows:
• Rwanda’s gross domestic product expanded from $7.2 billion to $7.5 billion.
• Kenya’s grew from $50 billion to $55 billion.
• Tanzania’s grew,$38.7 billion to $43.8 billion.
• Uganda’s expanded from $23.7 billion to $24.7 billion.

In the case of GDP only Rwanda failed to expand by at least $1 billion in a year, while Kenya grew by $5 billion.

Foreign direct investment in the four countries was as follows:
• Rwanda share of FDI decreased from $159 million to $110 million.
• Kenya share increased from $258 million to $514 million.
• Tanzania’s increased from $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion.
• Uganda’s decreased from $1.2 billion to $1.1 billion.

If Kagame’s globe-trotting is aimed at attracting foreign investment, the result here show dismal outcomes.

kagame blair

So please Mr President, why don’t you save Rwandan taxpayers and donor money and stay in Kigali a bit longer since you are not achieving much from your trips? The owners of the aircraft you charter – who are of course your own RPF’s Crystal Ventures Ltd – must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Dr David Himbara