The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman – NYTimes.com

A qualified Africa success story in Rwanda:

This praise comes in part because Kagame has made indisputable progress fighting the single greatest ill in Africa: poverty. Rwanda is still very poor — the average Rwandan lives on less than $1.50 a day — but it is a lot less poor than it used to be. Kagame’s government has reduced child mortality by 70 percent; expanded the economy by an average of 8 percent annually over the past five years; and set up a national health-insurance program — which Western experts had said was impossible in a destitute African country. Progressive in many ways, Kagame has pushed for more women in political office, and today Rwanda has a higher percentage of them in Parliament than any other country. His countless devotees, at home and abroad, say he has also delicately re-engineered Rwandan society to defuse ethnic rivalry, the issue that exploded there in 1994 and that stalks so many African countries, often dragging them into civil war.

via The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman – NYTimes.com.

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4 thoughts on “The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman – NYTimes.com

  1. simonliuu says:

    The article was very well-written. Mr. Gettleman did not hesitate to write both sides of the story. While Kagame has indeed achieved the seemingly impossible by bringing change to an otherwise impoverished nation, it was not without making some drastic changes to the country and even the culture.
    However, I think that the benefits of his governing has far outweighed the costs. It is a success and an inspiration to see change and growth in a country that less than two decades ago was facing very tumultuous times.

  2. kmdavis2 says:

    I really enjoyed this article, but particularly loved Rwanda’s intention to involve more women in politics. While many believe that Africa is a failed continent as a whole, I believe that there is a continuous progress. I’m glad that the effect of a leader can change a country drastically. For those interested, I would also recommend the TED talk “The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie where she talks about how people outside of Africa view Africa versus how Africa actually is.

  3. alexkhirst says:

    Kagame’s tactics in Rwanda are evolutionary, while at the same time dictatorial. Even though the streets are spotless of crime and poverty, the man uses ruthless methods in order to keep his country in check. I really enjoyed the article, in that Gettleman examined both sides of the story. The economy is improving and Rwanda is prospering; however, opposition does not speak out in order to avoid persecution. There is something disconcerting about the US supporting a country that is this dictatorial, especially since a lot of Kagame’s violent ways are hidden from public view.

  4. shannonmelissa22 says:

    I really enjoyed this article because it shows that there is hope in Africa. I think that some people feel that a lot of African countries are so beyond help that the best thing that could happen for them is western aid rather than a better government. However, Kagame has proven that a country in a difficult position can be turned around. But it is disconcerting to know that he has achieved such success through the means of a dictatorship. As a fiercely democratic country, I think that it is hard for some American to reconcile with the idea that a dictatorship can result in a more stable, financially secure country.

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