Top 20 quotes of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame

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Paul Kagame is the current President of Rwanda who commanded the the guerrilla forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front that ended the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

As a young boy, Paul Kagame fled to Uganda at the age of 3 with his parent and lived there for 30 years. Born on October 23, 1957, Paul Kagame was part of the Ugandan rebel force led by current Uganda President, Yoweri Museveni  that took part in the Ugandan Bush war from 1980 to 1986. He has served as Rwandan Minister of Defense and Vice President before becoming Rwanda’s 4th President.

Here are Top 20 quotes of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame

1. Africa’s story has been written by others; we need to own our problems and solutions and write our story.

2. Reconciliation takes time. Sometimes many decades, as the example of Europe shows. It is hard work.

3. There are some who are scared by unity and by building a country on the basis of ideas.

4. I had to fight hard for everything. I wanted to get out. I want to take my destiny into my own hands and escape the vicious cycle of retaliatory violence. This struggle has shaped who I am to this day

5. We’ve used aid to build capacities so we won’t need aid in future.

6. My purpose is to develop a country, to empower its population. It’s from that same population that will emerge the man or woman who will succeed me. And they will be chosen based on the consensus that they have the capacity to lead the country.

7. Democracy holds little appeal for people who are struggling to survive.

8. Politics is not only about personal choice. That one also needs to take into consideration what the people want because in the end, they are the ones who decide.

9. Strong economic growth, and especially a significant increase in private sector investment, is the only sustainable path forward for Rwanda.

10. My own experience from a decade ago taught me I cannot trust the UN. But it is a world body and we have to live with it and tolerate it. But I can’t hide my feelings about its inefficiency and its not being productive.

11. In Africa today, we recognise that trade and investment, and not aid, are pillars of development.

12. Aid leads to more aid and more aid and more aid and less independence of the people that are receiving aid

13. Human rights groups are locked in a fierce competition for big checks from wealthy donors and they need to generate big headlines.

14. Technology has brought many possibilities in education and health that are key to women.

15. We cannot turn the clock back nor can we undo the harm caused, but we have the power to determine the future and to ensure that what happened never happens again

16. The West has institutions that can punish the misconduct of individuals. What drove Rwanda and Africa into decline was the fact that certain people weren’t held accountable. When we move to make corrupt mayors or officers answer to the courts, people always immediately say that we are repressive. But should we allow these people to continue to get away with it?

17. It is the population which decides when it’s time for a leader to leave, not foreign powers

18. I often wonder why the West is much more interested in aid deliveries than in fair trade, for example. The fair exchange of goods would place far more money into the hands of the affected people than relief operations

19. A strong leader is not necessarily a bad leader.

20. Listen more to the one who criticizes you and less to the one who praises you. Learn from them and do something about it

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