Paul Kagame of Rwanda says the west should halt forcing its type of democracy on Africa and Africans at large.
Whiles speaking in an interview with the Financial Times news portal, Kagame said conditions in Africa and the west were not similar hence each one should customize democracy to suit their particular circumstances.
Asked about how westerners accuse him of having created an authoritarian society, the 59-year-old responded: “Maybe let’s talk about democracy, and not western democracy, because is there something called democracy without putting the western thing?
Whatever they practise, that is their business. I am African, I’m Rwandese, and there must be universal principles and values that people want to identify with.
“If we can do that, maybe that’s where I stand. And I look at the ingredients of democracy generally, not making it western, because making it western raises many questions,” he added.
He said the west – be it Britain, France, the United States, had the right to practice their type of democracy. “Whatever they practise, that is their business. I am African, I’m Rwandese, and there must be universal principles and values that people want to identify with,” he added.
Whiles admitting that he had things about the west that he liked, learned and worked to emulate, he is not going to champion western values in his capacity as president.
Kagame was recently sworn into office for his third term as President of Rwanda. His new mandate stretches till 2022. He won elections held on August 4 by a landslide garnering over 98% of valid votes cast.
During his inauguration ceremony, he took several swipes at the west and insisted that they should leave Africa alone, that the continent did not have a civilizational problem and is more than capable of taking care of itself.