We don’t need need any validation: Kagame

Rwandan Paul Kagame has quashed reports that his country's national poverty data and economic growth are a farce and misrepresented and cannot be relied up as the situation on the ground paints a completely different picture.

He said his country's economic growth does not need validation from outsiders, for it to be real.

He made these remarks during a press briefing at State House, where he and his Namibian counterpart HageGeingob briefed the media on their closed-door meeting on Monday.

Rwanda's economic growth is projected at around 7 per cent.

The growth of our economy is real, very real. [The 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 easy to measure.

If you look at how much agriculture has grown for example [it has grown] 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 we never had this growth in our agriculture sector 12 years ago.

It's not just growth by numbers. It is growth that is felt in the farmers' pockets and people are able to feed themselves, he reiterated.

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 [cook numbers] 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 are free to visit the country to witness it first-hand and speak directly to the Rwandese.

We'll make that you have access to any part of the country and you will talk to the people directly, he added.

He said even if they cooked up the figures, they would be fooling themselves.

If we cooked numbers, we would be cheating ourselves. We wouldn't be cheating anybody else, he charged.

Kagame further dismissed these reports, saying they are just western propaganda that seeks to discredit African countries and their strides.

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 ties with the country, at a bilateral and continental level.

Source: Namibia Press Agency