More than 20 African Americans and other blacks of African descent have decided to make Rwanda their home after spending several days traversing the East African country.
“Today, Minister of State Prof. Nshuti Manasseh received returnees of African descent from the USA and other parts of the world who are working to settle and make Rwanda their home,” reads a tweet by Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
During the September gathering of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party- Rwanda Patriotic Front(RPF) Inkotanyi chaired by President Paul Kagame, he said, that whoever wants to be “one of us should be given the opportunity, as long as they want to make a contribution towards building our country”.
However, President Kagame then cautioned that being accommodative of everyone does not mean that some people are going to claim to be more important than everybody else, “We are all equal and must be treated equally,” Kagame said.
Kagame further noted that the Rwanda of today is totally different from that under previous regimes.
“We cannot say the country is full, like those before used to proclaim, therefore we could not be accommodated. That is not who we are. There is room for everyone, including those Rwandans who are still abroad,” Kagame said.
The prevailing peace and zero tolerance to corruption and a focused leadership are cited as the major driving force for foreigners to want to become Rwandan citizens.
In May 2009 President Paul Kagame subject to the powers vested unto him by the constitution, singed a presidential order gave the responsibility of approving foreigners interested in acquiring Rwandan citizenship to the department of Immigration and Emigration.
African Americans Retracing Roots
Last year marked 400 years since enslaved people arrived in America.
Under the Ex-President Barack Obama’s administration, several African Americans started exploring the African continent with the intention to resettle and reconnect to their ancestral roots.
Ghana, a costal country in West Africa, honored the resilience of black people with a “Year of Return” initiative. Several African Americans are steadily resettling in Ghana and other African states of their choice.
NFL veteran Malcolm Jenkins said, “We come from a lineage of people that we’ve been disconnected from, and I think it’s really important that we start to take that journey as individuals.”
Jenkins said, “I think it’s the right time for African Americans as they make that journey back to the homeland to actually lay roots and play a part in the process of really building a strong and unified Africa.
According to a research article published in 2019 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, titled “Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex”– from 2013 to 2018, black men and boys were 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die in encounters with police.
The study reported that at least 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die in police-involved encounters.