Paul Kagame: we must realise that progress lies in working together.

Author:Yedder, Omar Ben
Position:THE BIG INTERVIEW - Interview

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame (pictured, right) is emerging as the de facto spokesperson for Africa with his clear vision of the continent's strategic position in the world's political and economic environment. In this period of great global uncertainty, Kagame's analysis of the forces acting on and shaping Africa's future provides a welcome and much-needed navigational chart. Questions by Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher of IC Publications.

New African: I would like to start by talking about what is happening in the world today. Recently in the US and in Europe, we have seen an increase in hate and scapegoating of minorities. The rise of the far-right parties in Europe must have uncomfortable echoes for someone like yourself, who has seen what this line of politics can lead to. What is it leading to ?

President Paul Kagame: I wish I knew where we are neaded to. But some of the things we are seeing today are not new.

Many of us have been experiencing these prejudices and alfkinds of injustices for a long time, but we were told it was always our fault as Africans, as Rwandese. We were told how to handle our affairs as if everything they, these "advanced" societies aid back home was perfect and in order.

Truth being what it is, some of us who take time to analyse the global situation could actually see this development coming. The so-called liberal democracies assumed that everything was rosy in their garden.

Instead, they came lecturing us and telling us we should be doing this or that. They assumed that whatever the textbook tells them about liberal democracy is actually how it works ... that it has nothing to do with the feelings, the sentiments, the culture and history of the ordinary people.

And now their people are saying: "No, wait a minute. You've been busy spreading your own thoughts across the world, you have forgotten about us. We chose you so that you address our problems, you are our leaders because we want our problems addressed. You're not addressing our problems but you are convinced either we have no problems or that you have already addressed our problems!"

Of course, people call it "populism"; but populism grows on a foundation composed of the needs, the desires and the choices of the people on the ground. In a nutshell, they are saying: "You are using my money to go and sort out other people's problems but you're not addressing mine." Are you worried about Trump diverting aid money to defence and that the US will be...

To continue reading