A British businessman who is resident in Rwanda says he feels much safer living in Kigali, Rwanda, than he ever would living in London, England, following a Parliamentary vote on Tuesday that saw the Rwanda Safety bill approved on its first vote.
The Parliamentary victory will allow the UK government to forge ahead with the implementation of the UK-Rwanda Immigration Plan. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the next step will be turning the bill into a law “so that we can get flights going to Rwanda and stop the boats.”
Adam Bradford, a British social entrepreneur, who has been living in Rwanda for the past two years, says the issue of safety for refugees and asylum seekers shouldn’t have come up in the first place, considering Rwanda’s track record as a safe place, not just for refugees and asylum seekers but also citizens and residents like him.
Appearing on a British news channel, GB News, following the vote which saw the UK Government win decisively on the first vote of the Rwanda Safety bill, Bradford said he feels much safer living in Rwanda than he ever would in the UK.
Bradford, who has been proactively speaking out in favour of Rwanda, following the heavy criticism the country has received since the inception of the UK-Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Plan, blames the handling of the partnership on the UK government, something he says attracted undue criticism on Rwanda, which is being used as a scapegoat.
The socialpreneur and philanthropist behind the Adam Bradford Agency says that he took it upon himself to speak out after he realised that there was a lot of harsh criticism targeting Rwanda, especially in western media, most of which lacked context and is biased in nature.
'From experience I feel a lot safer living in Kigali, Rwanda, than I ever would living in London!'
Rwanda resident, Adam Bradford says the country 'has no problems at all' for migrants.
— GB News (@GBNEWS) December 12, 2023
“The government and the authorities here, really tried to make sure that peace is restored. I would definitely dispute the facts that people seem to typecast it as a dictator state or a place that you don’t have any freedom or that you’re restricted,”
“In fact, it’s mostly the opposite. It’s a very progressive very open and very welcoming country. In fact there’s over a hundred thousand refugees here from other countries right now who have settled here, who’ve made a life here, and people who have emigrated here, such as myself, who have looked to business opportunities on the African continent with much success,” he said.
As a member of the commonwealth, Bradford says there is a lot in common Rwanda shares with other member states and he believes a lot of the rhetoric and stereotypical views have been bungled about without proper facts of what has happened and in a very unjust way.
Asked about Rwanda’s economy, if it is booming and people are prosperous, with an improved standard of living, Bradford said that while those disparities exist between certain groups in the country, what is more important is how the country has positioned itself to address.
“I think what the country has done quite cleverly is it made sure that it is a magnet for investment. It set about certain incentives and certain rules to attract people to come and create jobs, and create wealth here,” he said, citing his own example.
He said the environment Rwanda has created allowed him and others to transfer the knowledge and expertise they have to create new jobs and to help people to improve their lives and careers.
“What Rwanda has done is to strike a very good balance in terms of trying to help the local populations to improve the standard of living, which is constantly happening. There are massive things happening here in terms of technology, in terms of tourism, in terms of hospitality and people need to come here to see and experience,”
“I’ve lived here for a year and a half and to be honest, Jacob what I can tell you is, I feel a lot safer living in Kigali, living in Rwanda, than I think I ever would living in London,” Bradford told GB News Anchor Jacob Reese.
The UK Government received a major boost following the Parliamentary vote, even though more hurdles are predicted ahead, before the first flight takes off. A total of 313 Members of Parliament voted in favour of the bill against 269 legislators who voted against it. At least 24 MPs abstained from voting but it did not stop the government from triumphing.
Last week, the UK and Rwanda signed a revised treaty to strengthen an already existing agreement, with the UK Home Secretary, James Cleverly, who was in Kigali, reiterating PM Sunak’s determination to make the Rwanda policy work.
Rwanda maintains that it is safe for refugees and asylum seekers, pointing out that whatever is happening in the UK around the partnership ultimately depends on the decisions of UK institutions, not because Rwanda is unsafe.
Last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to the deal, regardless of the negative criticism it has drawn for the country, maintaining that it is for a good cause, which is safeguarding the lives of thousands of migrants making dangerous journeys across sees to relocate to other places.
Both countries maintain that the policy will be a deterrent measure not just for illegal immigration but also human traffickers who take advantage of the failing migration systems the world is currently dealing with.