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How Africa can drive growth, by Kagame


Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

NBA seeks probe of conflicting verdicts on PDP

What Africa needs to drive her development is not foreign aid but opportunities for the people to make money on their own, President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has said.

To him, if the continent must develop, the countries should create the enabling environment for business to thrive. The citizens must also be supported to become self-reliant.

Kagame spoke at the opening of the 56th annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Port Harcourt.

The Rwanda’s president, who was represented by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Busingye Johnson, stressed the need for African countries to make spirited efforts to tackle their challenges to be on the path of real development. He said the 1994 genocide which claimed over one million lives almost ruined his country’s economy, but his administration was not dispirited.

Kagame said after the genocide, the citizens immediately resolved to rebuild Rwanda. His government was able to overcome the economic and infrastructural challenges, and had sustained eight per cent annual economic growth in the past nine years.

Urging Africans to make their fortunes, he said 2020 would be the last year the people of Rwanda would wear fairly used shoes and clothes. “No more second-hand shoes and clothing in Rwanda by 2020. Why should Nigerians wear second-hand shoes? This is the time for us to change Africa. If we don’t do it, the Europeans will not do it. They can’t change Africa.”

The NBA warned that Nigeria’s democracy would be endangered if the prevailing economic challenges are not expeditiously addressed.

The association urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the conflicting court judgments on the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

NBA president, Augustine Alegeh, observed that the present economic challenge confronting the country has made it impossible for over 28 out of the 36 states to pay salaries. He said the situation remained a threat to the sustenance of democracy.

“It is time to interrogate the problems. If our fortunes continue to decline, can we afford to continue to remain as a nation? We need to look at the problems and proffer solutions.

“Panels were set up to look at the problems from several perspectives, including diversification and sharing of the little that we have. Are we sharing it correctly? Is the amorphous centre taking too much to the detriment of the federation states? Is the 13 per cent derivation too much or too little?” he asked.

According to him, “the time has come when we can no longer sweep under the carpet the challenges facing us as a nation. As an association in a country grounded by corruption, we cannot but talk about corruption and examine if the government of today is able to make the change.

“We must examine whether the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is moving forward or stagnating in the war against corruption.”

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike said Nigeria, like several other countries, had accepted the ideal of democracy.

“However, after 17 years of experimentation, can we truly say that Nigeria’s economy has prospered under our constitutional democracy? My answer, which I believe, is shared by most of you, is a straight no. Most of the citizens hold the view that Nigeria is lagging far behind despite the huge human and material resources at its disposal,” he said.

The governor urged members of the NBA to protect the country’s democracy from being destroyed by “leaders who hold the system in contempt, using the people’s voices, the law and the justice system as basic tools.”

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  • gasana

    Quite ironic that Kagame of all people would be making this argument, given that he himself controls 90% of the Rwandan private sector through front companies, such as Crystal Ventures, and that anybody who has tried to do business independently have either been killed or exiled and their properties confiscated (e.g. Rwigara and Rujigiro). In Rwandan press, his intores, such as Kevin Gatete openly defend the principle of patrimonial capitalism (also known as Mobuto-style kleptocracy), which is quite the opposite of what he is advocating here!

    • charles

      Mr. Gasana, you seem not to know what you are saying. Your aim is just to tarnish the good name and achievements of the leadership in place in Rwanda. When you say controlling 90% of Rwanda’s economy do you think readers are fulls to just ingest your toxic propaganda? This is what you guys have always said since 1994. You are fighting a lost battle bro.

      • gasana

        Please answer me with facts instead of slander. What happened to Rwigara, Rujigiro, Mihigo, Rusagara, Karegeya?… Who owns Crystal Ventures, and whose money was it on Ndahiro’s and Sekoko’s accounts in Panama? And consider this: what if I am not a Hutu genocide supporter, as you seem to suggest, but just a disilusioned RPF supporter, who thought that a peaceful, just and non-ethnic Rwanda was possible, and has seen the dream stolen by people who abuse the memory of the genocide for their own power and wealth. They are literally raping genocide survivors all over again.

        • charles

          Dear Gasana, If you want facts, consult World bank reports, IMF etc. The reality here is that Rwanda moves forward under the current Leadership than never before despite BARKING DOGS

          • gasana

            You didn’t answer a single one of my questions: what happened to those people? Whose money is it on the bank accounts? Without democracy, transparency, human rights and reconciliation, the shiny buildings are worth nothing. Look at Kinshasa: full of crumbling white elephants like the KCC. And if you want to talk about economic facts, let’s talk about Nzaramba, NISR poverty stats, depreciating rwandan franc, etc. Those are all facts.

          • charles

            You just do not know what you are talking about. your assertions are just imaginations aimed at misleading the public about the state of affairs in Rwanda. i told you, Rwanda will keep going forward despite barking dogs who have failed their own lives like you. What you can manage is wasting your time writing rumors to informed people.

          • gasana

            Still hasn’t provided a single argument or fact to disprove any of the points I raised. Readers: don’t take my word for it. Do your own research on each of these points and see if they are just rumors.