Our focus is changing our lives and country for the better – President Kagame
President Paul Kagame yesterday said that Rwanda’s performance as evaluated through global measurement and standard indicators has not happened by accident, but through the amount of work that has been put into taking the country from devastation to a place of hope.
Kagame was speaking during a fireside chat moderated by former Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) International Chairman; McKeel Hagerty during the global organisation’s annual meeting that took place in Cape Town, South Africa.
This year’s meeting dubbed YPO EDGE was attended by over 2500 participants from at least 130 countries.
The two-day event that started yesterday, is being held under the theme; ‘Introducing the Life of RE’ with subthemes such as RE-ignite, RE-skill, RE-tool, RE-boot and RE-invent.
Speaking at the event, Kagame said that the development efforts were not only from its citizens but also with support from partners.
“This has largely happened on the account of the efforts of Rwandans, partners like YPO, different individuals who in their capacities have decided and chosen to be part of the Rwandan story,” he said.
He pointed out that following the Genocide against the Tutsi, the government’s focus was to learn from past experiences and those of others and come up with solutions best suited for the country’s context.
“We are not just going by textbooks. We focus on changing our lives and country for the better and drawing on the hard lessons we have learned and are learning from others,” he said.
He warned of the dangers associated with divisive politics saying that it is dangerous to society.
“You don’t use differences to harm other people. Divisive politics must be seen as dangerous in actual fact. People must stop confusing being different from taking it to the extent of harming society. This is a very hard lesson we have learned in our own country’, he said.
“We want you to come to Rwanda and feel safe and secure in your investment. We also want to keep seeing the outputs of our efforts, minding what the inputs and efficiencies are,” he added.
During the chat, President Kagame was asked about how he manages to balance work and family life, to which he answered that a leader should be able to find time for both.
“You have to maintain a balance as a leader for family or friends. It can’t be one or the other or one at the expense of the other. If you just become a workaholic, sometimes you will burn out which will cause other dangers that contribute to your health,” he said.
President Kagame later met with President Ramaphosa and the two attended a dinner hosted by the organisation.
“It is my pleasure to welcome all CEOs and other business leaders from abroad. I am most pleased to welcome the CEO of Rwanda Incorporated and that is none other than His Excellency Paul Kagame. It is my hope that you will use this opportunity to learn more about our country from direct observation and engagement, President Ramaphosa said while speaking at the dinner.
“South Africa is currently rated 82 out of 190 countries. Within 6 years, President Kagame, we are determined to have caught up with Rwanda. It is wonderful to have a top performing country, like Rwanda, in our continent as it affords us an opportunity to emulate them but also inspires us to catch up.” the host President added.