This article, on theconversation.com discusses the relationship between economic development, and state power in the ever growing African country of Rwanda. Since the Rwandan genocide almost three decades ago, Rwanda has seen significant positive growth, politically, socially, and economically. Despite the many positives of the nation’s rapid development, Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame has been criticized by exercising “authoritarian tactics” in order to ensure policy change that maintains Rwanda’s upward trend of economic growth. Essentially, Rwanda provides an effective case study on the relationship between state power, and economic development, in a rapidly growing modern nation.
The article compare’s Rwanda’s state-economy relationship to some of the state directed capitalism tactics used in the “Asian Tiger” nations. However, the question remains for the author as to whether or not this model can remain successful in the long term in African countries, given a fundamental difference in the political systems in the separate regions. The primary method of the aforementioned state-led economic stimulation is best described as coordinated ventures between the state and the ruling party to consolidate investments in sectors of the economy that are deemed to be the priority. The outcome of this, while certainly leading to furthering Rwanda’s economic growth, has been described by scholars as “predatory business-state relationships”, adding further complexity to the question of whether or not the state’s active role in economic development is productive, or healthy for society in the long run. This remains to be seen, as Rwanda continues to expand in the coming years.