Kigali, 21 May 2014

President Kagame has said that the debate about leadership should not be about succession as an end in itself, but about the legacy of leaders. President Kagame was speaking today at a panel during the African Development Bank Annual Meetings taking place in Kigali.

Also on the panel were former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto, The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zumaand Mo Ibrahim discussing under the theme: “Leadership for the Africa We Want.”

Commenting on the issue of leadership and succession, President Kagame said:

“Succession plan is not just about leaders, it goes beyond the President. We should be talking about building institutions because we need leaders that will build institutions that last beyond them. My preoccupation is to do what I can while I am here. What we are managing is not just succession; its lives of people. We have had successions that have gone well but the lives of citizens have not changed. But it’s not just about succession; it’s about what you leave behind. The way things are, even if people come and do nothing and as long they are succeeded then it’s ok.”

President Kagame said Africa needs leaders who have a purpose, willing to deliver and always working hard to better the lives of their people.

The AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said Africa needs leaders who are willing to invest in the youth in order to secure the future of the continent as well as inspire their people to be the best they can be.

Deputy President of Kenya, William Ruto said what was happening in some African nations inspires hope that Africa will not be the same in a couple of years, citing what has been achieved in the East African community in a short period of time due to commitment by leaders of the block.

Intervening from the audience, former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki said that African leaders should be bold and tell each other the bitter truth while the former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa said African leaders should fight economic enslavement by working more with each other.