Guillaume Nicaise, Translated by Judy Albrecht, “The evolution of petty corruption on Kigali’s streeets” in Politique africaine Volume 160, Issue 4, October 2020, pages 87 to 112
This research demonstrates that Rwanda’s fight against corruption in the road transport sector conversely serves to increase the informal privatisation of the management of the sector, to the benefit of transport co-operatives, who complement and even assume the role of the traffic police. The interweaving of formal and informal governance encourages the use of state authority to exploit law and order on public roads. Through a lack of supervision of co-operative security officers and multiple layers of dominance of motorcycle taxi drivers, corruption is allowed to pursue its course. Rwanda’s authoritarian context ultimately leads to a partial application of formal rules creating a situation which goes unchallenged. While the contrast between the stereotypical spick and span image of Rwanda and the empirical reality is striking, the way in which the state operates is not dissimilar to many other African countries, inviting us to question this image of Rwanda’s exceptionalism.