Which Is The Real Kagame’s Kigali? The New Global Power Centre or A Smelly Town?

In the same issue of the New Times, of May 14, 2017, I noticed two sharply different portrayals of President Paul Kagame’s Republic of Rwanda and its capital city of Kigali. One article says that Kigali is now the world’s power centre that is replacing Washington, London and Beijing to shape Africa’s future. In the second story in the same issue of the newspaper, Kigali is a smelly town without a proper landfill for the garbage of over 1 million people.

This is how the first article describes Rwanda and the role its capital city of Kigali:

“Rwanda’s capital, is becoming a centre for African decision-making, a role hitherto reserved for Washington, New York, London, Paris, Geneva and Beijing where some African leaders would often fly to summit for instructions on how not to govern their countries…As democracy in our dear western world is tumbling into an abyss of nationalistic politics, those global power centres have become preoccupied with overwhelming domestic problems of unemployment, resultant poverty, terrorism, immigration and general anxiety across Europe…Europe and America’s grip on African affairs is loosening as problems at home compete for attention, resulting in a leadership void and a continent fumbling for a force to take charge of its destiny in the absence of a domineering West and its failed development templates.”

According to this article, the collapsing America and Europe has opened up a gap that Rwanda is “stepping forward to fill and offer a direction that will spur the continent to ultimately deliver results of the long sung mantra, ‘Africa is rising.’”

In the second article of the New Times, we see a sharply different Rwanda and Kigali.

This is how the story of Kigali’s landfill is described:

“The City of Kigali has announced that it is looking for $14m (Rwf11bn) in order to construct a modern landfill in Kigali Sector in Nyarugenge district replacing Nduba landfill located…Nduba dumpsite was set up without first conducting environmental impact assessment after the closure of Nyanza dumpsite in Kicukiro District…people neighbouring Nduba dumpsite almost immediately started to complain about a foul smell and fetching dirty water generated by the landfill.”

So which one of these two versions of Kagame’s Republic is true? The version where Kigali has replaced Washington, London, and Beijing as global power centre? On the smelly Kigali looking for $14 million to build a proper dump site?

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