Kigali, 22 June 2017
President Kagame has presented his presidential candidature documents to the National Electoral Commission, a few days after his nomination as the RPF flag bearer in the upcoming presidential elections.
While meeting local, regional and international media who gathered for a press conference after he presented his papers, President Kagame addressed various issues concerning Rwanda, the region, Africa and the world at large.
Concerning his call to the youth to get involved in politics in order to mitigate the occurrence of bad leadership, President Kagame said politics is inevitable in everyone’s lives.
“Politics will have something to do with you so you better have something to do with politics. There is no way you can say ‘I will be doing something on my own that will have nothing to do with politics’. If you feel there is nothing for you to follow then find it, create it. Choose how to get involved. I am not telling you how; I can only urge you to get involved in politics, and good politics. There is false sense of entitlement that things are not done because ground is not prepared for them to walk comfortably. To be a leader, stop having a sense of entitlement that someone, every time, everywhere, owes you.”
On ongoing reports that the US was considering reviewing participation in AGOA by East African nations after they legislated a ban on used garments, President Kagame said it was a matter of choice between growing own economies and industries or to be a recipient of used cloths under the AGOA arrangement.
On the burden of leadership, President Kagame said:
“Carrying the weight of leadership is not easy. But the goals we want to achieve together are bigger than any individual. The role each citizen plays in achieving our goals makes carrying the burden of leadership lighter. Leaders and citizens need each other. The trust between leaders and citizens is the reason we have been able to achieve our goals.”
Speaking on Rwanda’s achievements, President Kagame said Rwandans had achieved more than their means suggest:
“We have stretched ourselves to the extreme limits. You have to work towards what you want to achieve. You cannot sit back and expect that some miracle will deliver it. We want to see Rwanda with united, free people that enjoy prosperity we seek to achieve for our country. It’s good to think twice before you do what others tell you to do, instead of what you should be doing for yourselves. They tell us we should emulate how they manage their lives. We should stick to how we want to manage our own lives and politics.”
On the AU reforms, President Kagame said it was encouraging that African leaders had seen that they can move forward differently and that Rwanda shared the same sentiments.