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SPEA in Rwanda

SPEA V482 / 582 / 782

May 13 - May 31, 2015

An estimated 800,000 Rwandans, approximately one-tenth of the total population were brutally massacred over the course of 100 days in 1994.  According to the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948, genocide is defined as “any number of acts committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” As such, the Rwandan conflict pitting Rwandans against fellow countrymen was defined as genocide.

Following the national trauma, several justice and reconciliation systems were put in place to move Rwanda towards long-term stability.  The Rwandan government prioritized spending on health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure, leading to significant strides and gains in health, education, and the economy in the country.  While the country moves toward development and long-term stability, inequality still permeates the country.  The focus on providing the basics and eliminating corruption in the country marks a significant departure from government priorities in most other East African countries.  However, despite making significant strides towards improvement, Rwanda still requires changes in issues of governance and policy in order to combat inequality within the country and gain status as a dynamic and competitive economic international powerhouse.


Chemain Nanney

Assistant Director of International Programs