Kagame condemns ’hypocrisy’ in efforts to address global North-South divide

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 29 April 2024 at 07:31

President Paul Kagame has called for deliberate efforts to address the divide between the global North and South.

Speaking on Sunday, April 28, during the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Rwandan Head of State called out what he described as hypocrisy in efforts by some players to solve problems facing developing countries in the Global South.

"The divide is there. Let us not be vague about it. For example, if you look at it from the perspective of global shocks that we talk about, all countries in the world are affected. Of course, some are affected more than others. But that is a reminder that we need to look at the inclusiveness and collaborations that bring different entities of the world together.

“For that, we must be able to call out hypocrisy whenever we see it. We keep talking about the North and South divide, but we don’t find quick solutions to that, yet we can,” President Kagame stated.

At the same time, President Kagame challenged African leaders to overcome the victim mentality, stating that the continent has what it takes to thrive and narrow the divide between the global North and South.

"In this case, I am going to argue for our continent, Africa. Africa has the fastest-growing middle class. In the not-too-distant future, it will be the only place with a growing middle class. How can you forget that this is a very important place in our world?"

"To narrow the divide, the rest of the world has to see that this is an important place to invest in and to invest with. Secondly, it’s for Africa itself to avoid any victim mentality and start raising ourselves to the levels where we should be, and in fact, where we are — a very important geographical part of our world with a lot of resources. It’s not just natural resources but also the people," he stated.

He maintained that developed countries must recognise Africa as an important player in global affairs including politics and economy

"As much as you may find problems here and there, Africa is coming together. Africa is moving forward. Different countries have decent or impressive growth of the economy. This can’t be coming from nothing but the good efforts that Africans are putting in place.

“Therefore, it’s important that the rest of the world looks at Africa as an important entity in global affairs be it politics or economy," President Kagame stated.

On her part, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva called for increased collaborations to increase the distribution of resources to underdeveloped countries and marginalised groups.

"Over the last 100 years, despite a huge second world war and despite the cold war that followed, we as humanity have achieved so much. Life expectancy almost doubled, income per capita has increased eight times, with the population almost tripling. The question is: how did we do it? We did it with technology and we did it with capital accumulation, and then deployment of capital to generate that wealth.

"Where did we fail? And we have to be honest and admit it. In a world of plenty, we still have almost 800 million people who are hungry. We failed to more inclusively share the benefits of this growth. I look forward, I am optimistic, and I think in 100 years we can achieve the same degree of wealth but with much better distribution of the benefits of growth. May we have the will to work together to achieve that," the IMF boss stated.