Dans : Journal of Eastern African Studies, Volume 16, 2022 – Issue 2, Pages: 205-227

Année de publication: 2022

Auteurs: An Ansoms, Elena Aoun, Benjamin Chemouni, René-Claude Niyonkuru, Timothy P. Williams

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2022.2143468


The article links policy adaptation in Rwanda to the wider phenomenon of authoritarian persistence. We analyse political decision-making and implementation in a variety of policy domains (agriculture, energy, and education) to argue that the reality of governance in Rwanda requires more nuance than what is commonly portrayed in the literature. Hovering through the past decade, we first reflect upon how the Rwandan government’s ambitions have been translated into concrete policies, and how these policies have evolved throughout time as policymakers have had to deal with evidence on negative policy impact. Finally, we discuss the conditions for policy adaptation, analysing whether, when, how, and from whom criticism is taken on board. We show how policy adaptation is frequent in Rwanda, despite the context of a tightly managed political space. And yet responding to policy problems is not institutionalised and is inherently fragile in an authoritarian regime, leading to the question of how sustainable the country’s trajectory can be over the longer term.