PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME THINKS HE IS INDISPENSABLE
President Paul Kagame has been the face of Rwanda since 1994 when he took power. He first became president in 2000. He was elected both in 2003 and 2010. Paul Kagame is highly admired by many western actors.
Rwandans amended their Constitution in 2015 to allow Paul Kagame to stay in power. On Friday, President Paul Kagame was re-elected with a 98.63% vote according to Rwanda National Election Commission.
This is normal. He is not alone. We have had in the past other African presidents who get re-elected with 99% of the votes. This is normal for dictators according to Bloomberg.
Paul Kagame is credited with creating a formidable economy out of Rwanda. In 2000 when Kagame became the president Rwanda GDP Per capita was $800. After 17 years in power, it is now $1,773.8. This is a huge growth. It has been consistent over the years.
Transparency and openness has not been the strongest point of Kagame if stories from some quarters are to be taken into account. In 2005, World Bank was collecting data on the reduction of poverty in Rwanda. Bert Ingelaere who was part of the team collecting data reported that Paul Kagame ordered their data to be destroyed.
These are some of the actions which justify criticism that poverty has been rising in Rwanda which is an antithesis of the available narrative.
Even critics of his regime agree that overall Paul Kagame has made great strides over the years. Kagame has borrowed heavily from Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew‘s model.