We cannot turn the clock back nor can we undo the harm caused, but we have the power to determine the future and to ensure that what happened never happens again.

— Paul Kagame

The most provocative Paul Kagame quotes that will add value to your life

Listen more to the one who criticizes you and less to the one who praises you.

Learn from them and do something about it.


Africa’s story has been written by others;

we need to own our problems and solutions and write our story.


Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness or a sell-out.


I had to fight hard for everything. I wanted to get out. I want to take my destiny into my own hands and escape the vicious cycle of retaliatory violence. This struggle has shaped who I am to this day.


The new Rwanda is about building an economy that delivers prosperity and opportunity for our citizens based on a robust private sector. Foreign adventures would be costly and counterproductive distractions from these challenging objectives.


My own experience from a decade ago taught me I cannot trust the UN.

But it is a world body and we have to live with it and tolerate it. But I can't hide my feelings about its inefficiency and its not being productive.


Israel and Rwanda both play an active part in international organizations, including the U.N., but I think it's true that our unique experiences as nations have shaped a fierce independence that we will not relinquish.


I often wonder why the West is much more interested in aid deliveries than in fair trade, for example. The fair exchange of goods would place far more money into the hands of the affected people than relief operations.


National security is vital for economic and social progress.


It is the first time in the history of Rwanda that political change in the highest leadership of the country has taken place in peace and security.


I grew up in a refugee camp in Uganda, and I lived there for 30 years. That shapes one's character.


Rwanda is a democracy not a monarchy.


About Paul Kagame

Quotes 50 sayings
Profession Statesman
Birthday October 16

The history and national interest of Rwanda and the Rwandan people dictate our national orientation.


In Rwanda, we have a society that has experienced a very serious rupture and you can't expect all of a sudden that things will be perfect. Even so: You cannot find any more areas where any segment of the population would be afraid to go, like we used to have before. But there is always a lot more to do.


Rwanda has its own problems and never sought to blame others or cause others trouble. I advise Burundi to do the same.


Democracy holds little appeal for people who are struggling to survive.


There are things I admire, for example, about South Korea or Singapore.

I admire their history, their development and how intensively they have invested in their people and in technology.


A strong leader is not necessarily a bad leader.


Strong economic growth, and especially a significant increase in private sector investment, is the only sustainable path forward for Rwanda.


Rwanda is not over needing aid, but we can survive with less aid than before.


Politics is not only about personal choice.

That one also needs to take into consideration what the people want because in the end, they are the ones who decide.


Infrastructure is key, but also how it's used, and that's political.


Such problems are not solved in one day but there is a great step toward peace and security in the region.


Reconciliation has taken place here in Rwanda and was successful because Rwandans reconciled themselves internally. If the tribunal had taken place in Rwanda, it might have helped. People could have watched justice being done.


Rwanda is rebuilding itself once again as one nation and that is the reason why we are making progress. Now many Rwandans are making their ends meet and others are able to do better than they have before.


You kept quiet... When these victims wanted your help to survive, you kept quiet.


Reconciliation takes time. Sometimes many decades, as the example of Europe shows. It is hard work.


When people accuse us of taking coltan from Congo, I don't understand what they mean. The quality of our own coltan here from Rwanda is much better. But still people from the UN come here, we show them our coltan mines, we show them the documents, then they go and say: Rwanda smuggles coltan.


Aid makes itself superfluous if it is working well.

Good aid takes care to provide functioning structures and good training that enables the recipient country to later get by without foreign aid. Otherwise, it is bad aid.


I am not responsible for creating an opposition, neither am I responsible for appointing my own successor. My job is to allow for the opposition to exist within what the realms of the law. There is space in Rwanda for political parties - if fact we have about a dozen of them - as long as their objective is not to take us back twenty two years. On that point, we are and will always be very vigilant.


Up to a certain extent the UN soldiers are useful.

But they are consuming a lot of resources in relation to the little work they are doing.


The efficiency of a President at the beginning of his term depends on their capacity to get everything under control. That was my case. But once the institutions have been put in place, and the responsibilities delegated, the leader becomes a reference, a referee, a symbol and unifying figure for the nation. The issue is how and when to recognize the moment when staying in power becomes counterproductive.


I know that the fact that I am candidate to my own succession in 2017 can be perceived to be a bad thing by some part of the public opinion outside Rwanda and I don't mind because I know that I am doing it for a good cause. It really doesn't matter to me that my name is associated to those critics as long as I know that I am doing the will of the people.


Aid leads to more aid and more aid and more aid and less independence of the people that are receiving aid.


We've used aid to build capacities so we won't need aid in future.


There is a need to take advantage of the change that has taken place in the Congo, however tragic that has been in its coming.


It is better for a country to have a strong leader, this applies to the United States as well as to Rwanda.


Moving container from Kigali to Mombasa used to take 22 days, now it takes 6 days.


In Africa today, we recognise that trade and investment, and not aid, are pillars of development.


Human rights groups are locked in a fierce competition for big checks from wealthy donors and they need to generate big headlines.


Rwanda is a very open and free country.

Key to our recovery as a nation has a range of grassroots, citizen-centered polices we call "homegrown solutions." The idea that Rwanda is highly controlled from the center belies the reality, which is that citizens in every village have a powerful say in how things get done. We prize accountability and Rwandans are quickly adapting themselves to the possibilities of a digital economy.


It is the population which decides when it's time for a leader to leave, not foreign powers.


My purpose is to develop a country, to empower its population.

It's from that same population that will emerge the man or woman who will succeed me. And they will be chosen based on the consensus that they have the capacity to lead the country.


Technology has brought many possibilities in education and health that are key to women.


The West has institutions that can punish the misconduct of individuals.

What drove Rwanda and Africa into decline was the fact that certain people weren't held accountable. When we move to make corrupt mayors or officers answer to the courts, people always immediately say that we are repressive. But should we allow these people to continue to get away with it?


I do not want to be cynical, but if developing nations are kept backward by being told, again and again, you belong to the poor and you are there, where you actually belong, then nothing will change.


The situation in Congo shows nothing for which you could hold Rwanda responsible.


There are some who are scared by unity and by building a country on the basis of ideas.


The West is anything but altruistic.