12 April 2012

Why Rwanda is like Apple?

Andrew Mwenda, who has been fierce advocate for democracy in Uganda, seems to be quite a big fan of Kagame;
Rwanda/Kagame has been branded by its achievements as a successful case of post conflict reconstruction. The more the positive Rwanda brand has grown, the more it has attracted opportunistic groups that want to ride on it to enhance their own brand. By attacking an attractive brand, you are able to generate attention to your own brand. Human rights groups therefore have little incentive to focus on some obscure – even though murderous regime like Equatorial Guinea – because it will not make them visible in the human rights advocacy market. 
Assume you have a consumer protection advocacy organization and you want to build your global brand. It does not give you sufficient visibility if you focus your campaign on some obscure company called Filiopa Cranta (what a difficult name!) that manufactures drugs and sells them in the rural areas of Papua New Guinea. However, if you can pitch your case against GloxoSmithKline, Novartis or better still Microsoft or Apple, you are likely to attract a lot of attention even if your case is weak. 
Rwanda’s greatest asset in this war is actually the people of Rwanda whom these groups claim to speak for. In all opinion surveys by the most respectable polling organizations like Gallup Poll and World Values Survey, Rwandans say they feel free to speak, associate and express themselves by a margin of 85% – as good as one finds in democracies like Norway and Sweden. It will be humbling to see the advocates for freedom in Rwanda being told by ordinary Rwandans that they are actually free.


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