Thursday, June 24, 2010


- President Kagame’s 2010 ”Fan club” campaign page is worth taking a look at – in design it  bears a resemblance to Barack Obama’s campaign page.

- Ntabwo ni twa muzungu (sic) has a must-read on the topic of homophobia in Africa. This one from West Africa Wins Always is good as well (as is the blog in general). And here's another article on the topic by an Ethiopian author, writing that homophobia is a diversionary tactic of undemocratic leaders.

- Say what? The Rwandan government seeks to legalize medical marijuana.

- This cassava virus covered in the NYTimes could be really bad. In Rwanda, countless people subsist on cassava (and ubugali) or make their livelihoods selling it to others.

- An AFP article about Rwanda’s environmental issues: the plastic bag ban, and erosion and population density.

- A well-written blog post about food in Rwanda. I do have to say that I quite like Rwandan food, which showcases the freshness of local produce and can be spiced up with urusenda pepper.

- Is Rwanda safe for refugee returns? Because it borders the congo, my district (Rubavu) sees a lot of returnees.

- I showed this NY Times article about the Rwandan health system to my counterpart, and he said it’s pretty accurate, although he had no idea where Mayange is. A few additions: those who get sent to other countries for surgeries tend to be soldiers or high-ranking politicians. Rwanda has indeed made great strides against maternal mortality by transforming a culture of unassisted home births into a culture of giving birth at hospitals and health centers. The system is indeed far from perfect; even on the expanded middle-class insurance called Rama his family nearly went bankrupt paying for his brother’s medicine, but because they are educated they were able to appeal to the local health official who then waved the fees.

- Both Foreign Policy and the CS Monitor published recent articles comparing Rwanda to Burundi. They’re well worth reading, especially the FP article. If you google, you’ll see that Rwanda’s been in the Huffington Post (opinion wars), CS Monitor, and NYTimes quite a bit recently.

- As always, be sure to stay tuned to Texas in Africa and Congo Siasa’s posts on Rwanda – a lot has happened of late and both provide excellent analysis.

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