‘Africa will be just fine’: Kagame denounces external forces at swearing-in

Paul Kagame spoke against external interference and called on African nations to work more closely after his inauguration on Friday.

The Rwandan had ruled since April 22, 2000 and was granted seven more years after the election on August 4.

Kagame noted African countries must join forces for the benefit of all its people.

“Attacks on our character only make us stronger provided we respond with clarity and conviction. There is no one-size-fit-all nation-building. At the root of any success are good choices built on the build-it-yourself mindset,” he said.

The President added the continent must build on the reform spirit that has taken root in the African Union and in every African country to deliver the results citizens expect.

“Africa is on the right path and we are going to do just fine. Without exception, there is infinitely more that unites us as Africans than that which divides us.”

Kagame thanked Rwandans for re-electing him, saying the counttry will continue to be a firm believer in real partnership and cooperation with friends around the world where the people’s welfare is concerned.

“I would like to express particular appreciation to Rwandans for renewing the trust between us. It is truly a privilege and honour to serve you.”

Kagame was sworn-in for his third seven-year term in office following a landslide victory in the pol. He garnered 98.7 per cent of the total votes cast against his two main rivals Frank Habineza and Philippe Mpayimana.

President Uhuru and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta were among dignitaries who attended the ceremony.

They received thunderous cheers when they arrived at Amahoro National Stadium in Rwanda’s capital Kigali and later had lunch with the President.

Uhuru’s visit to Rwanda was geared towards strengthening partnerships especially in infrastructure development. Notable initiatives in this sector are the Northern Corridor Integrated Projects.

Among those who attended Kagame’s inauguration were Presidents Alpha Condé (Guinea) who is also the current Chairman of the African Union, Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan) and Faustin Archange.

Others were Touadera (Central African Republic), Brahim Ghali (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Macky Sall (Senegal), Sasou Nguesso (Republic of Congo) and Hage Gottfried Geingob (Namibia).

Prime Ministers Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and Patrice Trovoada of São Tomé and Príncipe were also there.

Ivory Coast was represented by Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan and Gambia by acting Vice President Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang who is also the country’s Minister of Women’s Affairs.

Other dignitaries included African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat and former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Festus Mogae (Botswana) and Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania) among others.

Equatorial Guinea Speakers of Parliament Gaudencio Mesu, Habib El Malki from the Moroccan House of Representatives and DRC’s Aubin Minaku represented their countries.

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