Despite the threat of war with its arch-rival Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) looming large, the Central African nation of Rwanda is hell bend on increasing its international standing, buoyed by its economic success after the 1994 genocide.
 
To further hike its international standing, Rwanda is going to play unstinting host to tens of thousands of asylum seekers whom Britain will dispatch under a deal with the Central African nation. According to this deal, Rwanda will get cash in exchange. However, can landlocked Rwanda really afford it?
 
Rwanda's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 7.9 percent in the first three months of 2022 compared with the same period last year, with key sectors performing beyond expectations.
 
The service sector posted 47 percent growth, agriculture 23 percent, and industry 22 percent, with construction activities increasing by 6 percent and manufacturing picking up by 11 percent. Also, mining and quarrying activities rose by 16 percent in the country.
 
Despite suffering shocks from the Ukraine conflict due to increasing oil and commodity prices, Minister of Finance Uzziel Ndagijimana said that the economy will grow by 6 percent in the whole of 2022.
 
The Ukraine conflict has seen Rwanda's Consumer Price Index (CPI) increasing by 14.8 percent (on an annual basis) in May this year, compared with the same period last year, said the National Institute of Statics of Rwanda (NISR) 10 June. The CPI rose by 2.1 percent on a monthly basis (May 2022 to April 2022).
 
In May 2022, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 24.2 percent on an annual basis and by 5 percent on a monthly basis.
 
The economic growth comes as the decades-old tension with Congo, the continent's largest most troubled country, has spiked recently.
 
Political unrest is going on in eastern Congo where armed groups vie for the region's rich mineral wealth. One of them, the March 23 Movement (M23), has renewed its offensive against Congo's military, accusing it of failing to live up to its decade-long promise to integrate its fighters into Congo's military.
 
This week, the M23 captured the key trading town of Bunagana, which uprooted thousands of people who are fleeing to neighboring nations.
 
Congo's military has accused Rwanda of backing the rebels in their capture of Bunagana. Rwanda denies siding with the M23 fighters who are mainly ethnic Tutsis, the same as Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.
 
The central African nations have been fighting since the 1994 Rwandan genocide that killed 800,000 ethnic Tutsis by the ethnic Hutus. The division along ethnic lines is more severe in eastern Congo where Congo and Rwanda accused each other of supporting rival armed groups.
 
On 10 June, Rwanda accused the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) of firing rockets into its territory, while Congo claimed that a rocket fired from Rwanda killed two children.
 
The United Nations and the African Union have voiced alarm about the increased violence in the region. To bring peace to East Africa, the six-nation East African Community -- Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania -- set up a regional force earlier this year. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who heads the bloc, hinted at deploying the regional force in eastern Congo.
 
Rwanda is set to host British prime minister Boris Johnson, Prince Charles and other world leaders next week for the Commonwealth summit.
 
Rwanda's capital is being spruced up for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, which will see leaders from 54 nations, mainly from former British colonies, taking part.
 
President Kagame will use this mega event to highlight the country's stability and relative prosperity of 13 million people in the former Belgian colony since the genocide in 1994.
 
Climate change, the post-pandemic economy, and the war in Ukraine will be high on the summit's agenda.  The authorities have set aside roughly $10 million to improve infrastructure ahead of the mega event, representing 2.5 billion people living in the Commonwealth.
 
Rwanda has experienced significant growth in the past decade, but considerable poverty exists in rural areas as the government is keen on developing touristic areas, investing public funds into the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) industry, and building impressive infrastructure in the capital, Kigali.  Its focus on tourism has left the rural flock high and dry.
 
The country is struggling to provide a decent living to most of its own citizens. Besides, there are 127,112 refugees as of April 30 to be taken care of in the country. They are mainly from other African nations and Libya. Due to these economic burdens, Rwanda is ranked among the bottom five on the World Happiness Index.
 
Despite Rwanda's willingness, all these factors raise doubts over the country's eligibility to host refugees when nearly 70 percent of its farmers eat, rather than sell, what they grow.