Rwandan President Paul Kagame has called on Africans to go beyond adversities and stay united to chart a path into the future.
Kagame made the statement on Friday during his swearing-in ceremony which was attended by over a dozen African heads of state and government in the capital Lusaka.
“Our experience is that we will be vilified anyway, no matter what. So we might as well do what we know is right for our people, because the results are much better, and the costs are much lower,” he said in his inaugural address.
“There is no single model for nation-building. At the root of any success are good choices, built on a mindset which can be summarised in three words: Do It Yourself,” he advised.
There is no single model for nation-building. At the root of any success are good choices, built on a mindset which can be summarised in three words: Do It Yourself.
The 59-year-old president, who is about to serve another seven years in office, said there is no need to worry about Africa’s direction because it is positive.
“Those who are worried about our welfare should feel at ease. We are the best students of our own shortcomings … Africa is on the right path and we are going to do just fine,” Kagame said.
He acknowledged the reforms within the African Union and called for pro-activeness do deliver quick results for the people.
“Let’s build on the reform spirit that has taken root in the African Union, and indeed in every African country, to quickly deliver the results that our people expect and have been waiting for,” he said.
Kagame slammed foreign interference in African affairs saying: “Every African country has to contend with efforts to force us to live on someone else’s terms. They demand that we replace systems that are working well for us with dogmas in which their own people are rapidly losing faith”.
“Africa has no civilizational problems, only assets. Sans aucun doute [Without any doubt]. Over centuries of adversity, our civilisation sustained us. Today it endows us with ambition, compassion, and creativity.
“It is important for Rwandans and our fellow Africans to feel reassured that attacks on our character only make us stronger, provided we respond with clarity and conviction,” he said.
President Paul Kagame took the oath of office as President of Rwanda after winning the August 4 elections with 98.7 per cent of votes.
This is his third term in office.
Present at the inauguration ceremony were Kenya’s President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe, Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic, Brahim Ghali of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.
Also in Kigali were presidents Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Idriss Deby of Chad, Macky Sall of Senegal, Sasou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, Hage Gottfried Geingob of Namibia, Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, Patrice Emery Trovoada and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn among other government representatives.