Author: ASH

On benevolent dictatorship

We in the US, who worship at the shrine of democracy, have a humbling thing coming to us when we visit Rwanda. President Kagame is something of a benevolent dictator, who by most accounts has done a superb job in Rwanda since the genocide. Rwanda is thriving, relatively speaking, and … Read more 

Language of education: choices in Rwanda vs. Haiti

In 2008, a Rwandan Cabinet resolution replaced French with English as the new official language of education in Rwanda, beginning with primary school. It would seem to make perfect strategic sense, as part of Rwanda’s exciting, ambitious plan to develop from a nation where (we were told) 90% of families … Read more 

On contradictions

Perhaps the second most common, (helpfully) over-simplified theme of our academic trip preparation – right after “different parts of Africa are different” – held that modern Africa tells a story of contractions: wealth and poverty, explosive growth and seemingly permanent frustrations.
It was true in what we saw of Johannesburg, and it … Read more 

On recent historical atrocities

I naively did not expect how present would be the extremely recent, truly awful chapters in both South Africa and Rwanda’s histories during our visits there. In South Africa, 1994 was the election of Nelson Mandela, marking the end of Apartheid; that same year in Rwanda was the genocide. Our … Read more