Stefano Domenicali had a quiet meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday. There as been vague talk for some time about a possible F1 race in Rwanda and with problems impacting the recent bid from South Africa, Rwanda might be in a position to step in. I reported on this in my JBSM newsletter back in April, in he following terms: “The country is located in the Great Rift Valley, just south of the Equator, between Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire).
“It is best known internationally for its civil war in 1994 during which hundreds of thousands of the Tutsi tribe were killed by rival Hutus, following the killing of President Juvénal Habyarimana (a Hutu), when his plane was shot down by a ground-to-air missile. The war ended when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a Tutsi organisation, overthrew the government. Since then the country has been politically stable under President Paul Kagame, who led the RPF, who took power in 2000. He won a landslide victory in elections in 2003 and was re-elected in 2010 and 2017. Under his leadership the country has prospered with GDP per capita going from $631 in 2000 to $2,214 in 2020.
“Kagame’s plan is for the country to become a upper-middle income country by 2035, and a high-income nation by 2050, as a result of a transformation from agricultural to a knowledge-based economy. Kagame sees Singapore as a role model for economic development. The country was deemed by the World Bank in 2020 to be the second easiest place in Africa to do business. It has also scored highly on the Corruption Perception Index, which rated it the fourth best country in Africa and was deemed the second safest country in Africa in a Gallup Global Law and Order report in 2018.
“The country wants to build up a luxury eco-tourism industry and more than $1.5 billion has been invested in developing the sector.”
It is no surprise therefore that Kagame was in Singapore last weekend, on a three-day visit to Singapore to “deepen bilateral ties”.