The above photo explains it all: by “groupie,” I mean a person who so adores a celebrity that she does not take time to assess the quality of the celebrity’s actual work. It is the same mindset that has granted the Rwandan president a new name “digital president.”

Are these groupies warranted in this renaming the Rwandan ruler “digital president” or its pure fantasy typical of the world of groupies?

Call me a bitter Ikigarasha, or to use the new term, a banana, but methinks this title will embarrass the Rwandan ruler when he leaves office and the truth can freely spread. Here are my reasons:

1. The Rwanda president has added 50 Megawatts to the national power supply in 20 years – assuming that the country currently has 100 MW as claimed. This is so little power that it can only run one Google data centre that requires between 50-100 MW to run. Most of Rwanda’s 11 million are literally in the dark at night! God help us – how will digital president power his digital crusade across the thousand hills?

2. Fibre optic cables that reached all the districts – someone help me, what, how, and to whom they connect? What goods and services are being delivered on this superhighway?

3. Rwandatel – you remember that one? Where in the world did you ever see a national fixed line telecom collapse, with a ruling party’s own mobile competitor laughing all the way to the bank? Can the digital ruler tame self-interest to pursue national interest? Methinks not!

4. Supply of innovation, knowledge and skill – combining all public universities in Rwanda into one super structure; if they did not deliver even technicians as single entities, with they deliver as a larger entity? Do we have the making here of an innovative knowledge hub or a white elephant?

Digital president? Lord have mercy!

David Himbara