Monday, 13 September 2010

President Kagame's inauguration

I was honoured to be invited by President Kagame for his inauguration last week. It was an amazing event that filled the Stadium to its capacity of 40,000 with 10s of thousands more watching on screens outside. The Event was attended by 14 Heads of State from across Africa, Ministers, Private Sector Leaders and representatives of International NGOs and Agencies.

The Event was not just the inauguration of Rwanda’s President but the inauguration of a new African Statesman, demonstrated by the level of support shown by visiting Heads of State.

President Kagame dedicated much of his speech to responding to his Critics on Human Rights and discussing the development successes in Rwanda. Anyone that has seen the changes in Rwanda over the last 10-15 years cannot fail to be impressed with the level of progress and development.

While NGOs and the International Media have a right to discuss Rwanda’s Human Rights, I hope they do it within the framework of the Development successes. Leaders like Kagame have to be engaged in Dialogue with constructive criticism rather than publicly hung.

Africa is changing, progress is being made on democracy and economic development and the continent should be engaged in recognition of its potential to be the next BRIC. Africa will be one of the key drivers of global growth over the next century. Let’s not miss this opportunity by failing to create mutually beneficial dialogue and consolidate our partnerships with the continent.

No comments: