Africa must take its rightful place - Kagame
President Paul Kagame has said that Africa must take its rightful position in global affairs as an active player and not as a victim.
He said this on the final day of his working visit to Washington DC where he was hosted to a luncheon by members of the Atlantic Council, a body that promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in international affairs.
“We want to see Africa take its rightful position in global affairs, as a participant and player in the global community – not a victim. Not a continent always waiting to benefit from the generosity of others.”
Kagame was received by the Atlantic Council Chairman, Senator Chuck Hagel, who expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Council for the opportunity to engage in a conversation expected to be beneficial in strengthening the different ties between Rwanda and the US.
While addressing the council, the President shared his appreciation and that of his countrymen for the continued collaboration between the two countries.
Kagame said: “Rwanda is changing, Africa is changing, both for the better, and certainly the future is even brighter.”
“We have been learning lessons, Africa is changing because people are trying to address the mistakes of the past, but in the same way for Africa to be better and participate better globally, I think lessons need to be learnt for others as well,” said the President.
“Those who deal with Africa partner with Africa and invest in Africa. All of us, in my view, have learnt lessons or are expecting to learn lessons on how we can make this partnership more meaningful in the sense that it would contribute better to the stability that we want to build globally”.
The meeting covered a range of issues including business investments and reforms carried out in Rwanda.
“I think everybody in this room knows something about President Kagame and what he has done for the country, for his society but it goes well beyond the borders of Rwanda when you look at the continent of Africa,” Senator Hagel said.
“The importance of leadership cannot be understated, underestimated or underappreciated. Technology, institutions, governments all give us resources to make a difference but it is the individuals; the leader who makes the difference and President Kagame has done that in immeasurable ways and has gone far beyond the borders of his country.”
President Kagame was accompanied by Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United States James Kimonyo and the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board John Gara.