The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) has recently come under fire due to reports they will be sending asylum seekers and refugees to Rwanda.
Many people see this as barbaric, but, those peoples are probably very misinformed that Rwanda has become one of Africa’s brightest countries whose economic growth has seen it become termed, the African Singapore.
With a stable government that preaches against dividing people ethnically, due to the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, President Kagame has overseen a vibrant Rwanda that has become the capitalist paradise in Sub-Saharan Africa, amidst many failing socialist states.
President Paul Kagame is not a perfect president by any means, as his country does appear to be de facto one-party led at this point, but nonetheless, he has overseen a vibrant Rwanda and refugees would be very lucky to be a part of this new Rwanda.
Rwanda and the UK seem to both see benefits from this. The UK does not want more asylum seekers, and Rwanda wants more workers to boost their economy, and thus both appear to get a net benefit from this.
Furthermore, the existence of subsistence living as a healthy alternative provides refugees with a really good potential to live fulfilling lives, even if they do not do well in the job market.
But, there are some negatives.
One, if the migrants are predominantly Muslim, this could prove too dangerous for Rwanda unless they are treated very well, because the Eastern flanks of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has an ISIS insurgence going on, and there are worries this could spread to Rwanda, as it has to other countries in the region, if Rwanda is not careful. Rwanda is a Christian country, but, its usage of Swahili as an official language opens itself also up to ISIS, al-Qaeda, and al-Shabaab propaganda in East Africa on the coast especially. To combat this potential rise of Muslims, Rwanda will have to overtly make Muslims feel welcomed there. Islamic extremism preys on young people who already feel the world is against them, so Rwanda does not need to add more fuel to the fire. Rwanda may have to follow the UAE’s plan and censor mosques and imams.
Two, this could fuel British anti-Briton feelings that could hurt the nation, not just for those that are minorities, but also for Britons who generally benefit from the diverse backgrounds of various groups in the United Kingdom. The UK is one of the centers of global trade and entertainment, but if the UK continues shenanigans like this, it could push many to abandon the UK for other countries relegating the importance of economic hubs like the City of London. These worries existed right after Brexit too, according to many critics, but the UK has done well since.
Three, there are issues concerning to the Rwanda human rights record, which may put certain groups at risk, in addition to concerns over Rwanda’s prevailing health issues. Rwanda did have a very successful COVID-19 response, but on other fronts, Rwanda is still behind. So, by placing certain people in Rwanda, it could harm them, whereas in the UK, these harms would mostly not be there.
Four, Rwanda’s alliances could prove troubling for some of these refugees, especially if Rwanda colludes with some of these allies to hurt these migrants. This needs to be analyzed by intelligence agencies and the UN, plus NGOs.
Future plans with this immigration for Rwanda should include work permits like in the UAE, with a potential for permanent citizenship later like in the USA. Rwanda should vet all of these people, before granting citizenship to them. Rwanda needs to make sure these people are safe.
Perhaps, the biggest positive that could come from this is a continual diversification of Rwanda which could create a more stable Rwanda, ironically, as it could further a potential where the two major ethnic groups must work with others to achieve electoral and popular victory. Plus, it can connect Rwanda to the outside world more, and bring Rwanda all sorts of talents to boost Rwandan morale and pride, as well as their economy potentially.