EDITORIAL: African leaders need to drive reforms in the AU

President Kagame this week released a list of nine eminent personalities to help turn around the beleaguered African Union (AU) Commission.

President Kagame this week released a list of nine eminent personalities to help turn around the beleaguered African Union (AU) Commission.

During the 27th AU Heads of State Summit in Kigali a few months ago, President Kagame was given the heavy mandate of leading the reforms within the AU.

 

The Commission has become synonymous with bureaucracy, wasteful spending and a myriad of other lethargic woes that have befallen it for decades.

 

That Kagame was chosen among his peers to spearhead the reforms within the Commission speaks volumes.

 

It was a sign of confidence in Rwanda’s rebirth and that the person behind its recovery could share some remedies with his African counterparts.

Frequent visitors to Rwanda never cease to get amazed with the changes the country goes thorough now and then, especially Africans.

But what sometimes gets annoying is hearing the tone of visitors from developed countries when they express wonder at the spotless streets that things in Rwanda work.

They seem to allude that nothing in Africa works. They look at African countries with one lens and that one size fits all.

That patronizing attitude quickly disappears when they understand what makes this country tic: resolve to overcome whatever challenges we face, and efficient use of resources.

If the Kagame team can manage to drill through the AU’s tough bureaucratic carapace, the war will be half way won. What will remain is to see if the Commission will manage to swallow the medicine prescribed to it.

There is a saying that a fish begins to rot from the head. If African leaders don’t join the reform wagon with zeal and determination to change, the reforms will only have a short time effect.

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