Africa must stop relying on aid

March 21, 2009 12:00 am

, JOHANNESBURG, Mar 21 – Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Friday urged African nations to stop relying on foreign aid and work on creating sustainable wealth based on the continent’s rich resources.

"It is about time we de-link our continent’s survival and foreign aid. Aid must only be used to mitigate emergency situations," Kagame said in a lecture at the Nelson Mandela Foundation Centre for Memory and Dialogue.

The dialogue is a platform for African leaders to talk about issues of leadership affecting the conflict-ridden continent.

"Aid can not be a long term substitute for investment and economic growth. This erodes the dignity and self-worth of Africans," added Kagame.

In 1994, Rwanda suffered one of the world’s worst genocides where around 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis, were massacred by extremist Hutus.

"Africa is endowed with enormous human and material potential but remains a region and people trapped in poverty, hunger and disease and endlessly seen as a place for pity and charity," Kagame said.

"I must emphasize, however, that our continent is still not where it should be," he added.

Kagame did not speak about the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where his military last month ended a joint operation with Kinshasa’s forces against the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) — whose members include perpetrators of the genocide.


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