As the clock ticked to send 2023 into the realm of memory, as every year, the entire globe, with its just over 30 time zones, was united in celebrating the start of the New Year. ‘
In the heart of Africa, Rwandans had their own individual hopes and aspirations for 2024, but all of them, could be certain of a state that will serve society’s needs, as they focus on their private ones.
American pyschologist, Abraham Maslow posited the theory of a hierarchy of needs. If fulfilled, these would lead to “self-actualisation”, when an individual would concern him or herself, with the higher thoughts of “morality, creativity, spontaneity, acceptance, purpose, meaning and inner potential.”
To arrive at the stage however, the individual would need to have attained the basic needs, beginning with physiological needs, like breathing, food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep. Safety and security, love and belonging, and self esteem, Maslow suggested, are the essential stages to self actualization.
Had the Rwanda government been a student of Maslow, they would have passed with flying colours. Rwandans have come to take their security for granted, indeed, every year for the last few years, in his address to the nation, the head of state, President Paul Kagame, has assured them that they can do just that.
This year, as they celebrated the New Year, they will have been at ease about their safety. Every parent will have been confident of universal primary and secondary education for their children. Should they or their child fall ill, they will have been assured of universal healthcare.
Rwanda is a poor country, and there are certainly many who struggle to put food on the table, but the government has prioritised food security, and the policy of “leaving no one behind” is more than a mere slogan, or aspiration.
Rwandans flocked to their favorite point of view to celebrate the new year in style, a night that was enjoyed in peace in all corners of the country.
Naturally, as capital city, Kigali led the way with fireworks that were shot from strategic parts including Rebero hill, Kigali Serena Hotel, Bumbogo hill and Kigali Convention Centre.
The latest had the biggest number of spectators who filled the venue to capacity, giving security officials hard work to find a everyone stand in a place where they want to be for maximum enjoyment.
As soon as the year 2024 was magically written in the air, cheers of the crowd filled the air and they were accompanied by songs that are known to fire the crowds into celebrations.
It is the last new year before the presidential election and this explains why the youth took this opportunity to speak their mind in the song with-ni wowe, tuzagutora-you are the one, our best choice, they said referring to President Paul Kagame who expressed his willing to run for presidency come July 2024.
Elsewhere, people flocked to churches to cross the year “in the hands of God”. Churches were full to capacity to an extent that they borrowed the parking lots despite cars themselves filling the venues.
Thus, at Evangelical Restoration Church-Masoro parish in Kigali City, Apostle Yoshua Ndagijimana Masasu told the congregation that 2024 is about new eyes, where the Holy Spirit will give revelations to the believers.
If this church had an issue of space inside the 3000-sitter Shekinah Hall, the Zion Temple and Celebration Centre was different.
The church rented the gigantic BK Arena with 10,000 places.
Apostle Paul Gitwaza said that 2024 will be the year of the Lord’s attention to His People, in reference to Isaiah 65:24.
Part of his speech reads: “We will always do what is necessary, to ensure that Rwandans are safe and secure, no matter what.”
The president said that the country is “moving ahead strongly and statistics can confirm this. We will stay on the course. Given our context and circumstances, we don’t have any reason to complain.”
The president is seeing the most reassuring signal of country’s better future in the increasing confidence and dynamism within the youth.
Signs of a hopeful 2024 could also be in the market trends today with the fuel pump price decreasing to Rwf 1639 a litre, down from Rwf 1822 of the last two months, which is a difference of Rwf 183 per litre of gazoil.
Diesel was brought to Rwf 1635, down from Rwf 1662, a difference of 27 per litre in the prices that will apply for the next two months, effective from December 6.
The consumer price index for November 2023 decreased by 1 percent compared to October 2023. Food and
non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 3.3 percent and a positive trend could continue in 2024.