Rwandan President Paul Kagame has lashed out at African leaders who wait for the west to intervene and solve their problems saying the leadership in Africa has what it takes to deal with the continent’s problems.
President Kagame made these remarks on Tuesday evening during the ongoing African Development Bank Group Annual Meeting in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
At a session discussing “Ending Conflict And Building Peace In Africa”, Kagame said “It doesn’t make sense that African leaders go to Europe to address African problems.” drawing a round of applause from the audience.
“Going to Europe with the hope of seeking solutions to our problems casts a bad image on the continent and the leaders’ ability to handle their problems” Kagame said
The other session’s speakers were former African presidents; Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo and South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and was moderated by Frannie Leautier.
“Why should our leaders wait until they are invited to Europe to get together to solve our problems. It doesn’t make sense” President Kagame wondered.
The Rwandan leader’s comments come just days after France hosted a summit a summit on how to deal with Nigerian Islamist group, Boko Haram.
The summit on Boko Haram came weeks after the group had kidnapped more than 200 school girls in the west African nation in addition to it’s deadly attacks.
Quote: It doesn’t make sense that an African Leader should be invited to sit in Paris with the French president taking photos to address the problems of his own country – Kagame
There has been an attempt by African leaders to break away from the notion that the continent’s problems can only be handled with help from the international community and president Kagame’s comments go a long way in re-emphasizing that idea.
African Leaders Must Take Responsibility
President Paul Kagame reminded the audience that conflicts in Africa are either old or new saying that African leaders must take responsibility and manage the processes that can bring conflicts on the continent to an end.
President Kagame, Obasanjo and Mbeki unanimously agreed that the conflicts in Africa are as a result of a failure in leadership which they said must be addressed to bring peace to the continent.
“If we get the right governance, right politics, we would eliminate conflict on the conflict” Obasanjo stated.
About The Report
The leaders were discussing a report by a High Level Panel on Fragile States (HLPFS) chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and established by AFDB president, Donald Kaberuka.
The panel consists of seven eminent experts: Dame Barbara Stocking, Callisto Enias Madavo, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Greg Mills, Rakiya Omar, and Sarah Cliffe.
The HLPFS report titled Ending Conflict and Building Peace in Africa: A Call to Action discusses in depth the experience of countries and partners in engaging in situations of fragility.
This report comes at a critical time in light of the current emerging combined pressures of rapid urbanization, climate change, youth unemployment, inequality, and new discoveries of natural resources.
Each of these factors place African societies under considerable strain and risk.
Urgent attention must also be given to the transition of national movements into state-building and peace-building processes.
The event will provide further attention to the urgent need to act immediately to ensure systems and policies are responsive, not only to address ongoing conflict, but to create an environment where future conflicts can be mitigated or avoided altogether in the long term.