We don't need need any validation: Kagame

20 Aug 2019 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 20 AUG (NAMPA) – Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, on Tuesday quashed reports that his country’s national poverty data and economic growth are a farce and misrepresented as the situation on the ground paints a completely different picture.
He said his country’s economic growth does not need validation from outsiders in order for it to be real.
He made these remarks during a press briefing at State House, where he and his Namibian counterpart, President Hage Geingob, briefed the media on their closed-door meeting held on Monday.
Rwanda’s economic growth is projected at around 7 per cent.
“The growth of our economy is real, very real. [This is made possible] by the people of our country, it originates with them. They are the ones who toil and put in hard work every day,” he dismissed.
According to Kagame, Rwanda’s development is not only on paper but can be touched, seen and is easy to measure.
“If you look at how much agriculture has grown for example, [it has gone] to a point of the first world. [There is] food security [in Rwanda]. People are able to feed themselves, which has never been done before,” he said, adding that the country did not have this growth in the agricultural sector 12 years ago.
The statesman noted that if Rwanda’s statistics on their economy were fabricated, its credibility and that of international bodies and other countries that work with it would be compromised.
“If you are able to do that [fabricate or alter statistics] and the world that deals with you and actually scrutinises these numbers also follows that, then there is a problem in the world. It’s not just a problem in Rwanda,” he said.
Kagame said those who doubt Rwanda’s social and economic credentials are free to visit the country to witness it first-hand and speak directly to the people of Rwanda.
“We don’t need any validation. We want to do things that benefit us,” he said.
Since Kagame became president in 2000, he has overseen rapid economic growth and improvements in access to education, healthcare, and housing according to official statistics, but has faced constant criticism of his purported authoritarianism.
Kagame is in Namibia on a three-day State visit to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.