The first post “On Kagame’s Rwanda” was written on February 27th, 2010. A month earlier, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, chairperson of FDU-Inkingi, a Rwandan political party from the opposition which operates from exile, had returned to Rwanda. This was on January 16th. I had been to her farewell meeting in Brussels on January 9th, 2010. Her charisma had again touched me. I was going to become one of her millions of Rwandan supporters despite her imprisonment since October 14th, 2010.
The blog was meant to be a channel to update her followers and friends with information regarding her political struggle inside Rwanda. This was one aspect that I wanted to highlight. I aimed as well for the blog to be that window through which anyone could learn what was going on in other parts of the African continent. Since the start of the new millennium, it is claimed rightly or wrongly that the 21st century is going to be the African century, meaning the period during which Africans are going to cease to be seen as the underdogs but become fully part of the global community as equal human beings as the rest.
Some African leaders such as the South African Thabo Mbeki and the Senegalese Abdoulaye Wade were strongly advocating for the African Renaissance. Operational structures of the African Union including some such as NEPAD and African Peer Review Mechanism had been developed at continental level. On the ground something was effectively changing gradually but there were many huddles: the Congolese crisis was still raging; Ivory Coast was still politically divided; the situation in the Horn of Africa was not better because Ethiopia of Meles Zenawi had invaded Somalia with the support of Americans, apparently to restrain the influence of fundamental Muslims operating with Al-Qaida.
Many areas of the continent were characterized by political instability and human catastrophes. However, at the same time, as a consequence of a conjunction of factors: presence of huge reserves of raw material and their increasing demand internationally by new global powers such as China, India and Brazil, Africa was benefiting somehow of its minerals. Though the economic progress was not significantly tangible for those it is normally aimed, signs predicted that the future could look brighter at some stage. This was the context which saw the initial development of the blog.
The overall focus has been on Rwanda and Africa. Rwanda, only because I care about the piece of earth which first saw me, and Africa because I feel more African than Rwandan. Having said that, it is important to point at the fact that the issue of human rights violation has been dominant throughout the content of the blog, this to the extent that one reader complained that they were not seeing much of the Rising African continent in the published information. I had to explain them that effectively that aspect was so critical that not stressing it enough would be missing out at the reality of the context in which any economic progress was being made.
The ground made since February 27th 2010 is promising, from a personal perspective. Other readers can have a different assessment. As of Monday 3/3/14, 605 posts had been published so far. The average number of daily hits is currently 260 and the most ever higher figure in one day was 451. The main countries where readers came from February 2013 to February 2014 are US [50,540], United Kingdom [19,348], Canada [14,355], Rwanda [11,452], South Africa [7,220], Belgium [5,608], France [4,661] and Netherlands [3,407]. Most popular posts include: 1) Open letter to the founders of “KONY 2012”[6,444]; 2) Child Soldiers in the Great Lakes Region [5,706], Kagame publicly threatening to hit President Kikwete [3,251], Patrice Lumumba’s speech on June 30th, 1960 day of the proclamation of Congo’s independence [2,854], An ancient Black Africans’ belief about the white man worth revisiting[2,420], Why the West wants the fall of Gaddafi? [1,955].
On what readers say, I have taken note of two things. One visitor suggested that as editor I should make a book out of some of the published posts. I am working on it. Another reader recommended the blog for an award in the category of the Working to Change the World. The way forward includes making the blog financially profitable. Some ideas on this would be welcome. I would like as well other bloggers writing on similar areas of concern interested in linking with “Rising Continent” to do so for mutual benefit.
When one brings up a new born into the world, the act can either be planned or accidental. What matters most for the child is not much so the prior planning or accident that characterized or not their birth, but how they are loved and cared for after.