Kagame: Rwanda Won’t Allow Lectures From Donors


visit this site sans-serif;”>”What lessons do you still have to learn from others that we haven’t learned from losing one million people?” Kagame asked as he addressed delegates at the 9th Leadership Retreat in approved sans-serif; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: white;”>Gako, Bugesera District.

“Leaders are supposed to guide citizens out of poverty and dependence. Fighting poverty starts in the mind. It is even more pathetic when this attitude is prevalent among the intellectual class that feels they have arrived,” said Kagame.

“We know exactly what our challenges are. They are malnutrition, insufficient electricity etc. No more seminars are required,” he added.

The four day retreat will focus on devising ways of reducing poverty, improving customer care, generating energy and improving access to health care.

“Donors want Africans to imitate them and stay in poverty. Good debates that change people’s lives must be emphasized. Debates are important but endless debates about development are useless,” he said.

Kagame also said most of Africa’s political class is de-touched from the people they lead, saying they are selfish.

The President, who led a rebellion that captured power in 1994, said Rwandans should not accept poor customer service, or anything that is bad for the country and delays her development.

Kagame has been hailed internationally for transforming the genocide-torn country into a first developing nation, with observers labeling her “Africa’s Singapore.”

He has equally been slammed for abusing human rights and denying political space for opposition activities, allegations Kigali vehemently denies.


Kagame also called for hard work to end reliance on foreign aid.

“Let’s move beyond empty catch-phrases and theories and actually do what we have to do to get results. Let us free ourselves by doing what we are capable of and building capacity to do tomorrow what we can’t today,” Kagame said in an inspirational speech.

“Agaciro is about fighting for our integrity. We shouldn’t be living off other taxpayers but pay our own taxes. There will be no change until we stand up to our challenges and it doesn’t come easily, we have to fight for it. We cannot have endless debates about our predicament -that is why Africa is where it is. We need tangible results,” he said.

“We Rwandans, we Africans, need to be independent. It’s not correct to live on generosity of others. It is demeaning. Our struggle is to improve the lives of Rwandans, get rid of poverty, to be more independent. And we want it fast,” said Kagame.

The President emphasised: “I have the impression we could have made even more progress. We have a challenge making the transition from knowing to acting for results. This year we have made progress, based on earlier achievements, and we can and should make even more progress,”

The Rwandan leader further said Rwandans need electricity now, not in 30 years.

“I am going to do whatever it takes to make this happen. Fighting poverty is not about how many seminars we attend. It is about using our knowledge and resources efficiently. Fighting poverty is a real fight, not of weapons, but of ideas and the changing minds in order to improve lives,” noted Kagame.

“Meetings like the 9th leadership retreat are not an end in themselves. We meet to examine our performance and make necessary corrective steps. This is the time to reflect critically on the work we are doing and the development targets we have set for.”


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