Rwanda’s President ‘Paul Kagame’ Stuns World Leaders; Demands Partnerships – Not Aid for Africa
Kagame follows the footsteps of Nana Akufo-Addo; says Africa does not need Europe’s ‘generosity’.
Earlier this year, Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo shocked President Emmanuel Macron of France and the world in general, when in defending his vision for an Africa beyond aid said the continent does not need ‘hand-outs’ from foreign countries anymore.
The French president and the world, in general, marveled at his boldness in making such utterance.
Well, it appears African leaders have decided to follow in that footstep and another prominent leader on the continent has requested that the current model which Europe adopts in its relation with Africa be reviewed.
According to him, Europe and Africa should aim at mutually beneficial partnerships rather than the ‘old order of generosity’ currently being implemented.
Speaking at a High-Level Africa-Europe Forum in Vienna, Austria on Tuesday, Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame said:
“ “Africa has resources that can be brought into partnerships with Europe which bring a win-win situation for everyone. In my view, we should have a conversation about what Africa brings to the partnership and how what Europe has been offering can be offered differently so that we get the results we want.
‘ “Europeans should view Africans as partners and not beneficiaries of their generosity. People of Africa have to be able to look after themselves and look at what is required to meet global demands and the expectations of our people.
‘ “We are not going to measure success solely in terms of migration statistics. A much better yardstick is how creating high-quality, digital jobs in Africa will also boost job growth in Europe. After all youth employment is an urgent priority for both our continents.
‘ “We want to address and transcend the past by looking forward, and also transcend any differences that exist within or across nations for various reasons, while building on the positive elements of our shared historical inheritance.”
President Paul Kagame was a co-chair at the forum in his capacity as the African Union Chairman, alongside Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who doubles as the president of the Council of the European Union.
Speaking on the theme of the Forum, ‘Taking Cooperation to the Digital Age’, Kagame explained that a mutually beneficial partnership between Europe and Africa will address critical global concerns such as migration by boosting innovation and private-sector exchange that will among other things create jobs for young citizens.
Kagame informed the world leaders that Africa is preparing to grow its economy through initiatives including the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement which will liberalize trade on the continent and link Africa’s digital infrastructure.
The forum was attended by Heads of State and Government, CEOs, the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and the President of the European Council Jean- Claude Juncker.