Kigali a bit like Kampala in 90s

Kigali day 1: Forgive me for feeling Kigala anno 2011 is a bit like Kampala 1992-98.
Ok, the airport is much bigger, much more modern and efficient than Entebbe in 1992.  The construction ongoing everywhere in the city is also much more advanced. The shops are full of goods, not like the shops in early 90s in Kampala, which had pretty empty shelves. In other words a lot is not like Kampala in the 90s, but some of the great things are: Kigali is not too congested, there are only traffic jams when it rains and at ultimate peak hours and the city is hilly and green. Yes, in the 1990s Kampala was still a green city with a complete – not a half – golf course!
I managed to speak with a few Kigalian’s the very first evening, and the manner in which they speak about their country and the future of it also resembles Kampala anno early 1990s; needless to say, this is if one did not speak with anyone from the areas of Lango and Acholi land!
There seem to be a lot of respect for the Rwandese leadership and the mission it is on; to stabilize and grow/develop Rwanda from a very low pre-genocide level into a middle income country.
After five years in Kampala and listening to colleagues, friends, media being almost amazed about Rwanda’s achievements since 1994, in particularly the last 10 yrs, it is so interesting to be here.
Its absolutely true what they have all been raving about: No potholes on major roads, no litter or garbage in the streets, neatly decorated bins (which nobody steels overnight to sell for a few shillings), seatbelts are on, boda-boda taxi drivers have helmets for themselves and their passengers and there are zebra-crossings, which pedestrians do use to cross the road.
I can’t wait to meet more people and have a good chat with them.
Contacts from Uganda and Kenya have done what they could to fix me up; hopefully I’ll manage to do the rest myself.

Kigali view with new 21-storey Kigali City Tower opening July ’11

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