President Paul Kagame, currently in New York for the United Nations Heads of State Summit, carried to the highest level Africa’s message of hope and triumph against all adversity.
During his presentation at the New York based International Peace Institute (IPI), President Kagame stood tall as he proclaimed Africa’s readiness to intensify business with the West.
He reminded his Western audience how far African countries have progressed, especially those that have emerged out of conflict.
Kagame, was stern and quick to point out the need for partnerships that are based on ‘mutual respect, trust and a collaborative outlook.”
The missing ingredients in the often unequal relationship between Africa and the West.
In this context we no longer talk of ‘post-conflict Africa’ but a continent rich with opportunity and emerging success stories.
Rwanda, Sierra-Leon and Liberia which were ranked in the recent World Bank, Doing Business report as being among the best reformers world-wide, are just some of the vivid examples.
However, not only is Africa redefining her destiny by striving towards the prosperity of her people, she is also finding home-grown solutions to incessant bloody conflicts, as previously witnessed in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kagame, again brought to the attention of his audience that the improving diplomatic relations between Rwanda and the DRC are a result of ‘a major breakthrough towards extending the boundaries of peace.’
Testimony to the political will by the leadership of the two countries to work towards lasting peace and stability – elements that favour doing business and improving livelihoods.
This defies the perception that Africa only produces; failed states, never ending conflicts, dictatorships and poverty.
Not only did Kagame diagnose what Africa’s challenges were, he also had solutions, with concrete examples of what has been tried, tested and has succeeded.
Kagame’s message should therefore be the basis for a paradigm shift for relations between Africa and the rest of the world.