President Kagame yesterday joined the 4th edition of the Tana High Level Forum on Security. Held in Bahir Dar, the forum brought together over two hundred leaders from across Africa and the globe for two days of exchange on “Secularism and Politicised Faith.”
Speaking alongside Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Ibrahim Boubakar Keita (Mali) on a panel moderated by former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, President Kagame pointed to the potential to Africa’s diversity as an opportunity for leaders to look at leadership beyond their individual interest:
“It is about how we benefit and direct the wealth of our diversity for the benefit of individual countries and for the continent.”
President Kagame urged leaders from all sectors to take a stand against the senseless loss of lives at the hands of terrorists:
“Hundreds of thousands of our people have been killed. We must start from the point that this is unacceptable.
Leaders of any kind, religious, business and government, we are better than accepting the rule of terror of those taking the lives of our people.”
President Kagame added that regional cooperation is key to a solution:
“Leaders of countries need to be doing the very thing that protect the citizens to even be able to serve them.
That can only be achieved through cooperation. We can’t just look within our borders and forget there are common threats that face all of us.”
On Rwanda’s history with extremism, President Kagame pointed to the use of extremism and hate by leaders that led to the loss of one million people in the Genocide Against the Tutsi.
“Governments have a responsibility to protect citizens without discrimination, there are no two ways about it,” President Kagame added.
President Museveni argued that the quest for prosperity should be the common interest pursued by leaders, adding that citizens’ interests are best serves by emphasizing commonalities rather than differences.
The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is an annual Forum that brings together African leaders and stakeholders to engage and explore African-led security solutions. Founded in 2012, the forum seeks to ignite candid dialogue among leaders across sectors and culminates in an academic paper.