Africa’s progress and development doesn’t need external validation from foreign powers – Kagame

For the second time in a week Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame has responded to Financial Times’ recent report that Rwanda’s 2015 poverty figures were ‘cooked’.

The New Times Rwanda quotes President Paul Kagame as saying that “Rwanda and the African continent pursue progress and development for the interest of citizens not to receive credit or validation by external parties.”

President Paul Kagame and President Hage Geingob at the Namibian State House in Windhoek

Kagame latest response was at the Namibian State House in Windhoek, Namibia while addressing the press after holding a meeting with his host President Hage Gottfried Geingob.

President Kagame is currently in Namibia accompanied by First Lady Jeannette Kagame for a three day state visit.

“If we cooked numbers we would be cheating ourselves not anybody else. Those writing stories about us are not people we want to please or satisfy. We want to satisfy ourselves,” he said.

Kagame said that often, different external players seek authority over African nations based on a line of thought that progress on the continent has to be validated by an external player.

“It originates from the stereotypes that Africans can do fine, they must be doing things that must be validated from the outside. We don’t want to be validated, we want to do things that are good for us not just to please others,” the Head of State added.

President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame

According to the Financial Times, the “analysis of the 14,000 data in the report, as well as interviews with academics, shows that the skyrocketing prices for Rwandan families have led to an increase in poverty between 2010 and 2014”.

In contrast to the Financial Times narrative, global financial institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) have consistently authenticated Rwanda’s economic progress.

The World Bank Sunday, August 18 clarified and endorsed the country’s poverty reduction rate after news reports claimed the statistics about Rwanda’s poverty reduction had been tampered with.

The statement which was published on the World Bank’s website on Friday, August 16 says the World Bank staff weighed in publicly, clearly, and with commensurate technical rigour on the Rwanda poverty measurement debate in a working paper (Revisiting the Poverty Trend in Rwanda: 2010/11 to 2013/14) published in September 2018.


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