Rwandan apologises for shame brought to Africa
Posted Fri, 15 Oct 2004
In a move that prompted spontaneous supportive applause from delegates to the Eskom African Business Leadership Forum, Williams Nkurunziza apologised on behalf of his fellow Rwandans for the shame his country brought on Africa by allowing the 1994 genocide in that country. "But why did it happen? It happened because leadership failed," Nkurunziza, director general of Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency, based in Kigali, said. Nkurunziza was introducing fellow panellist in a discussion around "Leadership By Example" when he made the surprise statement. "In the years after the most gruesome genocide the world has ever seen, Rwanda has rebuilt itself to a tremendous success. We have one of the best democracies, and the best constitutions in the world, and have held general elections. We lead Africa in terms of the representation of women, since 49% of our parliamentarians and 30% of cabinet ministers are women. We are providing leadership in Africa, and it is leadership by action," he said. Nkurunziza said it was time for Africa to start looking at its successes, rather than simply focusing on the negatives. "Maybe, it's time to start celebrating the gains of the continent and the African people rather than spending time playing chorus to the perceptions of the Western media..who always talk about the flaws and imperceptions in our system," he said. He also made a call on countries to start viewing themselves as part of the African whole, rather than getting caught up by political and geographical borders. "Why are we still talking about small villages when the rest of the world is talking about a single global village? We have a duty to embrace each other as a people of one continent," Nkurunziza said.
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