An Incredible Work and Personal Experience in Rwanda

An Incredible Work and Personal Experience in Rwanda

I was in Rwanda from April 25th to May 2nd as a consultant on a USAID Cooperative Seed Development Project. The project is going fine, and I will fill you in later as we get some results, but now I want to comment on the exhilaration of working in a place that went through a horrific period, the genocide in the 1990s, but through reconciliation and honest political leadership has really turned the corner.

A couple of vignettes illustrate my point:

  • The infrastructure, especially the roads on the drive from the capital into the rural areas, is in amazingly great shape, which is evidence of lack of corruption.
  • No politician siphoning off money and leaving huge potholes.
  • Plastic bags have been outlawed, everything is immaculately clean, grass moved, flowers and shrubs in the median strips, and, most important,
  • it is perfectly safe walking in the capital at night.
  •  Our car was stopped for speeding and the police officer simply wrote up a ticket and did NOT look for a bribe.
  • Finally, perhaps the impressive part of the whole experience was the transparency of the people we interviewed, whether small farmer members of cooperatives in focus group meetings or various partners in the value chain, like seed and fertilizer suppliers.  This place works!!

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