As the winner of the African of the Year Award by the All Africa Business Leaders Award, Rwandan President Paul Kagame graces the cover of the January edition of Forbes Africa Magazine.
[NEW EDITION] @PaulKagame, Rwandan president & Chair of the AU, graces the December/January issue of our #ForbesAfrica magazine. In an exclusive interview he speaks to our editor @METHILRENUKA about intra-Africa trade, how governments can drive entrepreneurial growth & much more. pic.twitter.com/qWDAL69icx
— Forbes Africa (@forbesafrica) December 4, 2018
The award, which was presented on November 29, celebrates and honours leaders who have contributed and shaped the African economy.
— #AABLA2018 (@AABLAwards) November 29, 2018
In the magazine, Kagame opened up about the award and other changes he had instituted not only as the president of Rwanda but the chair of the African Union in the past year.
Kagame has been considered a controversial leader, with heaps of praise over how he has led the country through a period of relative peace and prosperity since the genocide in 1994. In the past year, Rwanda has been named the least corrupt country on the continent and second in the ease of doing business.
The president has also come under criticism for alleged harassment, abuse and arrest of his political opponents, including Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Diane Shima Rwigara, who were in jail for running against him for the country’s top post. In October 2018, he passed a law that criminalizes statements and publications deemed humiliating by government officials, further increasing his fame as an authoritarian.
Kagame has also been known to be vocal about the influence of the West on Africa, calling for continental leaders to work with each other than depending on aid from the West for the development of the continent. However, he has been seen making deals with companies such as Ali Baba from China, a country he says traded equally with Africa even when there is evidence on the contrary.
His choice as the African man of the year has elicited mixed reactions:
Exemplification of what is wrong with that whole continent… Kagame coludes with the multinationals to exploit the minerals of DR Congo knowingly that the people won't benefit from it… A Blackman that sells out its own brothers and sisters so whiteman can make a profit…
— RAPHAEL BASISA (@BASISA28212) December 7, 2018
Yall still glorifying dictators with bloody hands. Cute.
— Kazimoto (@kaziimoto) December 4, 2018
Strongman in Africa
— Graphi (@keyym) December 5, 2018
— Michael Demür (@michaeldemoore) December 4, 2018
respect 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 from chad 🇹🇩
— good person (@azzzzzza70) December 4, 2018