Kigali, 7 November 2017
President Kagame has said that in order to tackle corruption, you need to start at the top, not with ordinary people. While participating at an interactive session of the Africa Leadership Network today in Kigali, where he shared his experiences as a leader, President Kagame said although corruption is not African, the vice has been practiced devastatingly.
“It’s not for lack of knowledge; it is a question of people making the choice to tackle this problem. People can, should and must do something about it. For us in Rwanda, there are no two ways about it, in some countries, they are spoilt for choice, they have resources and can have some to spare after all. We have to confront it head on, in Rwanda, every penny has to count. You have to go for the people at the top and make sure people understand that life can equally be good without corruption.”
On progress in Africa, President Kagame noted that the momentum is on and like any other struggle, it takes time but we have to succeed. He pointed out that it is not enough to know what needs to be done, but Africans must do what needs to be done or they risk not getting the desired results.
On African independence, President Kagame said there is need to raise Africa to a level where it is a player and not a victim.
“Africa is a place where others have conflict over; we are there and caught up in between. We also can’t justify doing wrong things by saying leave us alone this is our sovereignty. Stop seeking validation from what is wrong or right from outside. We can’t live by external dictate. Why should anyone take our resources cheaply or feel entitled to them? We need to raise our voice and stand our ground.”
President Kagame said that Africans need to be consistent and keep proving that what they are doing results into the change that they want.
“We have to ask ourselves if we are getting the results towards goals we have set for ourselves. Those who do the right thing have to be rewarded; those who do the wrong thing have to be held accountable. If we have identified the problem and understand it and have decided to confront it, there has to be fairness in the process”
On Rwanda’s secret to progress, President Kagame said it was the ability of Rwandans to work together and collaborate with others beyond the borders. He pointed out that progress has been made because of millions of individual choices Rwandans have made.
“Rwandans were invited to stand up and face these challenges. That is one reason progress has been made. Having to deal with complex and very challenging problems has its own silver lining.”