Rwandan President Paul Kagame has blamed his fellow African leaders for the increasing rate of insecurity in Africa, saying their failure to coordinate internally has made it difficult for respective countries to handle simple security problems.
Kagame, who was re-elected in August, also accused African leaders of relying so much on the international community to deal with their own problems. He was however quick to point out that his call for internal coordination does not encourage the exclusion of important international partners.
“If we allow others to define our problems and take responsibility for solving them, we have ourselves to blame. A major pillar of institutional reform of the AU is a more focused and assertive Africa,” Kagame was quoted by Africa News.
The Rwandan leader was speaking yesterday at the ongoing 4th session of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa in Senegal’s capital Dakar.
The Forum is organized by the Senegalese Government and the Pan-African Institute of Strategy, with the help of the French Ministry of Defense and the Association de soutien au Forum de Dakar (ASFORDAK), in association with the African Union and other international partners.
Military Empowerment Not the Only Solution
President Kagame also noted that some of the major security problems troubling the continent at the moment include uncontrolled migration, wars, and divisive politics, but he is convinced that Africans can handle these and many other challenges by working together.
“This means coordinating among ourselves as Africans. We must take responsibility for ourselves, which doesn’t include partners but they add to our efforts,” he said.
In his forthright speech, Kagame reiterated the need for African governments to look for better and more effective ways to deal with problems of insecurity in their respectively countries, adding that the continent must go beyond militarization.
The Rwandan head of state wants to see the continent employ more inclusive approaches to addressing issues of conflict, including economic empowerment and improved governance.
He also seems to disagree with a number of African policymakers who prefer more proactive and robust responses to major security challenges such as terrorism, arguing that such threats pose serious challenges to the continent’s security and therefore require urgent response.
The conference was attended by several African leaders and diplomats, including the President of Senegal Macky Sall and his Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Also in attendance was Chad’s Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke and African Union chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.