Abuja, 11 June 2019
President Kagame today begins his two-day visit to Abuja, Nigeria with a keynote address at the opening of the National Democracy Day Anti-Corruption Summit officiated by Host President Muhammadu Buhari.
Held under the theme “Curbing Electoral Spending: A panacea to Public Corruption” the summit is organised by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with the Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee.
“We tend to focus on the petty corruption of everyday life while turning a blind eye to the more consequential forms that people only whisper about, because the rich and powerful are the main beneficiaries. Corruption needs to be tackled from the top down. This is not only the fairest approach, it is also the most effective because it empowers the public to join the fight and hold leaders accountable, through elections and other means. Our liberation struggle in Rwanda and in Africa more generally, has always been based on the ideals of eliminating discrimination, entrenching good governance and ensuring all citizens benefit equally from nation-building. We quickly found out that fighting corruption has a political cost. Officials who did not live up to the agreed standards were dismissed or brought to justice. Others fled into exile and pretended to be so-called “opposition”. Some thought we could not afford to take this zero-tolerance approach given the fragility of our environment. The truth, however, is that we couldn’t afford not to do it. It is the foundation of the modest progress for which Rwandans continue to work.” President Kagame said.
The President is invited to speak about Rwanda’s fight against corruption which has led to Rwanda emerging among the three less corrupted countries in Africa for the last 2 years. Rwanda was also the first country in Africa to introduce the e-procurement system in 2016.
On the second day of his visit, President Kagame will attend the official inauguration ceremony of President Buhari who was reelected in February of this year.
In 2018, President Buhari championed the African Union theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. He has also made anti-corruption one of his campaign themes in 2019 and vowed that the fight against corruption and Illicit Financial Flows will remain a top priority.