Sunday, December 17, 2006


I must first apologize to the readers that this message is only directed to Banyamulenge in diaspora, and is written in mixture of both English and Kinyamulenge.

The theme of this new year that we are about to begin is: " Developping Minembwe".
It is my belief that as Banyamulenge in Diaspora we can participate in the development of our villages in many ways. But for the purpose of this article, I would like to briefly suggest five ways (future comments will be posted). I believe we can support and nurture five groups:

1. Local communities organization (NGOs),
2. Women/gender equity: Mutekereze aho umwana w’umukobga ukirongorwa a` l’age de 13-14 ans? How shameful! One of the obviously disadvantage is that she will not go to school like her brother. This has to change. Do I need to remind you ibibazo byogutoragura, kuvoma, noguhura byamaze bashikibacyu? Ibyosimbitindaho ariko we can easly provide solutions.
3 Local schools,
4. Cooperative development/churches, and
5.Private sector (abadandaza/ubucuruzi iwacu).


One of the approaches I suggest is to work with our community through some sort of partnerships bases on social agreements that we can negotiate with them locally.
It goes without saying that; here the assumption is that we would have organized ourselves first and agreed on this initiative and principles.
One thing that each and every one of us must remember is that supporting our villages is our own investments, and it is in our own interest to do so.
It is also important to emphasis that we have a moral and social obligation as Banyamulenge intellectuals, particularly those of us in diaspora to help develop our communities/villages in their process of poverty alleviation and gender equity.


Dore uburyo bumwe njye Mbona twabikora:

First, let me say why I say local NGOs, naho ibindibyo ndumva biri obvious. It is because most of them (NGOs) are still in their infancy, but some are serious and show promise in providing services to the community. One example of this is UGEAFI. Given the realities z’iwacyu twese tuzi, I believe that it is through NGOs and churches dushobora kwigisha abantu about various topics, nokubafasha kwitez’imbere.
We can also strengthen these small NGOs by improving their managerial capabilities. For example, kubigisha ukuntu bandika za proposals, ukuntu bakora their book keeping, and provide better services if they are to get funding from few funders in the region. Dushobora ku organiza exchange programs tukajya tugendayo cyangwe tugatuma abantu for short term assignements.

Gutez’imbere Private Sector:

Ntabantu bajya baterimbere badafite business people cyangwese les entrepreneurs. We all know that there is a potential for a growing and vibrant small business individuals in most of our villages, which has, until now, not been working together to form small companies or cooperatives. Kubera surtout isolation and low level of infrastructure, actually lack of it. Alors, dushobora ku encourage business iwacyu by being private investors twenyine. Kuko let’s face it: twentabgo dutegereje ngo gouvernement izafasha iwacyu, ngobahashire za bank aho abantu bashobora kubona za loans/inguzanyo. Kandi ntahantu abantu bazabaterimbere badafite capital. Izo capital tuzi ko akenshi ziva munguzanyo za Bank cyangwe za coopec/microfinance. Izo resources rero ntazo dufite cangwe tunategereje iwacyu ruguru.
Ariko, if we can be bold enough to invest in our villages, we can promote their rural marketing such as Kudandaza inka, carburants kugira ngo tuzamure small electrical machines, and other important local economic activity in the area. Aho kugira ngwabapfurero n’abashi bazabaza kudukiriraho, twa organiza abantu biwacyu tukabaha za loans bagakora small businesses.

Ikibazo waba wibaza cyoba ngwese where would we get those loans? The answer is simple: “ngw’akimuhana kaza imvur’ihise” so to speak. The loan will have to come from our contributions.
I know this is not something some people like to hear. Abantu benshi niba arukudagira experience, niba arukwanga gukora sinzi. Ariko iyo ubabgiye guteza iwacyu imbere, bakubgira gushaka za financement mubazungu. Don’t tell them about their contribution. Icyo rero nicyo tugomba kurwanya. We must learn to take responsibility in our own development if we are serious about developing our villages.
Ikindi may be cyabaha courage, nukumenya ko you will not doing it for charitable purposes.
D’ailleurs muzikwabantu biwacyu badatunzwe nogusabiriza. They are self-sustaining people, and they don’t need charity. Ariko they need our support.
The loan that we will give them will be reimbursed to you with INTERESTS. Yes, I just said with interest, because that is very possible and feasible if we work together. So, you should see it as a win-win situation.
Think about this: take any western country, be it North America or in Europe, there is very few banks where you can invest your money for 5% annual interest. I am talking about the kind of money that you and I have. Ariko ufashe $1000 ou $500 yawe, uka yikaba umudandaza w’iwacyu (through micro-finance coope) ngwazakungukire 10% par an, yabasa nuyaboneye ubusa because he/she will be able to repay you with that interest easly. So, in the end it can be even a business venture for you. So, why not invest in our people when we can even get greater reward? Uranga ukayashira mwibanke yabazungu, ntibakungukire na 3% par an! Wafashe risk yoku investissant iwanyu?

Strategy B:
Another strategy might be to form our Diaspora Cooperative: Let’s say tukavuga tuti tugomba gu controla marche y’inka kugira ngo dupandishe igicyiro cy’inka iwacyu, given that abazabaza kuzigura (abashi nabapfurero) aribo ba controla ibicyiro to some extent. Ugasanga igihe kimwe inka ziragurwa ubusa ngo ntamuguro. Noneho, akabaritwe tuzaza tuzigura through our cooperatives, kugira ngo tugire competition naba outsiders basanzwe bazigura kuri make. Not only ko twabadupandishije ibicyiro, ariko twaba tuna providinze indi alternative kubantu biwacyu as buyers. Nigihe byazabibangombga tukabafatira za embargo (I mean abanyamoko). There is no way, we can go wrong by providing microfinance and being the buyers of our main products (cows). In both cases, we can make profit and help our people make profit. Igituma mvuze ibya profit making initiative nuko bimaze kugaragara ko in most cases gutanga for the purpose yogufasha byaratunaniye. Reka rero noneho dutange natwe twinguka.
Reka mbe ndekeyaho kugirango numve icyo namwe mubitekerezaho. Kandi nyabuna murekekuguma kuba indifferent. We can only do things if we work together.

Murakoze, mugire Noel nziza n’umwaka mushya muhire.

Akim M.

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