Rwanda Now

Rwanda 2011

By Andrew Meldrum

January 03, 2012


One of Africa's most dynamic countries is also its most haunted. Rwanda is working to overcome the 1994 genocide. Its economy is fast-growing and it has very little corruption. But President Paul Kagame's government is persistently accused of repression. An on-the-ground look at the contrasting facets of this compelling country.

Rwanda's Bright Future Tainted by Tragic Past

President Paul Kagame's impressive achievements marred by repression.

Construction cranes bristle across this city's hills, showing where high-rise towers are being built at a pace to match Rwanda's rapid economic growth. Cars, buses and motorcycle-taxis speed on smooth, divided highways while vendors sell bags of carrots, cabbages and beans. Kigali looks every inch an increasingly prosperous African capital city. Then a young man walks by with a wedge-shaped gape in his skull. A woman's warm smile cannot hide the searing scar across her face. This is Rwanda today. Continue reading...

Gorillas in Our Midst

Volcano National Park offers close encounters with endangered gorillas thanks to effective community work.

Pushing aside a big branch, I step into a clearing and stand face to face with Muninya, a 440-pound mountain gorilla. He stares at me intently. We are about 15 feet apart, but it looks like he could easily grab me with one of his long arms. Continue reading...

Betting on Economic Growth

Rwanda tames corruption and uses radical business reforms to boost its economy.

The two-year-old stock market in this small central African backwater is not exactly bustling with billion-dollar deals. But stock brokers here have earnest ambitions to become a financial powerhouse, and not everyone thinks they're crazy; on the contrary, they're actually making real progress. The country synonymous with genocide is aiming to become the economic powerhouse of East and Central Africa. Continue reading...

Rwanda Journalists Under Threat

Despite repression and its troubling past, many in Rwanda's press look forward.

Sporting a hat at a jaunty angle and a winning smile, Fred Mwasa is very much a journalist about town here. Driving through Kigali, he rattles off commentary about the construction sprouting up across the capital city. "That is our first shopping mall. And that is going to be a Marriott Hotel. "¦ Americans bring democracy. Chinese bring things we need, like new roads," says Mwasa, pointing out a new divided thoroughfare, landscaped with grass, flowering shrubs and palm trees. Continue reading...

Andrew Meldrum's journey to Rwanda was sponsored by the International Reporting Project (IRP). Meldrum is the deputy managing editor and Africa editor for GlobalPost.