It was a lurching, stammering year that began in hopes of leaving the Covid-19 pandemic behind. The year at a time the country was emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic that claimed nearly 1,500 lives and left 55,000 in poverty.
As curtains draw on 2022, we look at five major events and incidents that shaped the year.
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm)
After being postponed twice — in 2020 and 2021 — Kigali finally hosted the meeting for two weeks in June. The meeting attracted over 4,000 delegates from 54 countries.
Some of the high-ranking officials such as the then Prince of Wales who has been crowned King Charles III after Queen Elizabeth II died in September, the British delegation attended led by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, flew almost 13,000km from Canada to attend the meeting.
Trembles of the meeting were felt throughout the country as schools got closed, roads were blocked to allow passage for officials, and media coverage and infrastructure overhaul that came with Chogm.
The meeting also left Rwanda with an agreement with a Germany Pharmaceutical company BioNTech to construct the first mRNA vaccine manufacturing plant in Africa that is expected to commence operations in two years.
Inflation, and food prices
The cost of living has risen sharply in 2022 largely due to an increase in food prices linked to a bad harvest as well as the impact of the war in Ukraine which disrupted supply chains.
By July, food prices had increased by 25 percent, forcing families to dig deeper into their pockets to afford the cost of living. By August, even the locally produced staple foods and livestock products including vegetables, milk, eggs, potatoes, and beans had more than doubled in price.
Some families in Kigali resorted to moving to rural areas in search of greener pastures. The central bank has increased the repo rate twice this year to 5 percent in May and to 6.5 percent in November, in an attempt to confront inflationary pressures.
Rwanda-Uganda border reopening
This was a year of making amends as Rwanda prioritized recovering relations with Uganda and Burundi, leading to the reopening of the Gatuna border with Uganda which had been closed since 2019.
The border reopened in March after rounds of discussions between both countries led by Genera Muhoozi Kainerugaba. In September, Burundi announced the reopening of
the Akanyaru border with Rwanda after 7 years of closure.
Families, friends, and cross-border traders both from Uganda and Burundi can now enjoy traveling back and forth to all three countries for the first time in years.
As borders in southern and northern Rwanda reopened, the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda’s busiest land border, was not so busy anymore.
Political impasse and blame game between both countries that dragged on for months led to the tight passing requirements for Rwandans at the border.