As the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly concludes in New York, President Paul Kagame has set a pace that will be hard to slow down. He presents a portfolio for Africa’s development through investment and economic partnerships with the developed countries that is intact and well knitted.
He lays all the possibilities for the US to invest more in Africa just like their Chinese counterparts are doing. He leaves no room for excuses and doubts.
He precisely lays down benefits of investing in Africa as the world deals with the global financial crisis.
Arguably, the most influential African leader, Kagame dispels the wrongly perceived image of African leadership - failed, poor, corrupt and war hungry. He speaks from experience. Kagame has lifted Rwanda out of conflict to a favorable investment destination.
Conflict in Africa was a result of foreign policies that dictated the way African leaders run their states. Dependency on “bad” foreign aid and policies only made countries poorer by the day.
Today, more African countries are drinking less from the two cups of dependence and neo-colonialism.
Not because they lack a cup to drink from but because they realize the two cups that ruled their past were the main sources of the problems they had in the first place.
Leaders are beginning to realize that the solutions to their problems lie within and have stopped waiting for the developed world to come to their rescue.
Today, many debate that Kagame’s ambitious vision is outsized for a small landlocked country like Rwanda. How does land size compare with the drive behind people’s will to progress?
For the critics who despise Rwanda’s progress and leadership, all they need to do is compare Rwanda fifteen years ago to the Rwanda of today. The evidence is available for everyone to see.
Such a practical example should show the world that all hope is not lost in Africa.
The author is a journalist, The New Times.