President Kagame, alongside Tony Blair and Howard Buffett on Wednesday participated at a panel to discuss partnerships in Africa, on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) taking place in Kigali.
President Kagame said Rwandans would like to have ownership of the very things they should be doing for themselves:
“How do we manage partnership and ownership so that resources do not become a substitute for the choices of the people? Aid makes a big difference but we want to participate in deciding where this money goes and monitoring results.”
Responding to questions about term limits and Constitutional review in Rwanda, President Kagame said the right time for a leader to leave office can only be determined by the people:
“I found myself having to make a decision based on what the people of this country want or what people outside want. What is the right time? The right time cannot be determined by those outside.”
Howard Buffet cautioned against people attempting to make choices for Rwandans:
“Let’s not think we know better than Rwandans what they want for the future. Let’s look at the result, let’s not put form before substance. This is not my or your future, this is the Rwandans future. It is imperative that they drive what will achieve success. Every democracy goes through changes; we have 27 amendments to our constitution. Investors want stability and Rwanda is exactly that. If we didn’t think President Kagame was going to be here for another 7 years we wouldn’t even consider being here.”
Speaking on rebuilding Rwanda, President Kagame said it was about Rwandans saying they needed to create something for themselves in order to have a future and had to involve everyone.
On corruption President Kagame said people had to understand the consequences and what diverting funds meant for education, health and others and that although there were political costs involved in holding people accountable, they were not as huge as the cost of corruption.