Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dambisa Moyo tool in Kagame's PR strategy

As the article "Rwanda Rising: A New Model of Economic Development" points out, Paul Kagame has surrounded himself with some influential friends that are part of his pr strategy. Dambisa Moyo, writer of the book "dead aid" does not need further introduction, she wrote yesterday on her twitter account:
"Rwanda's President Kagame calls on African nations to work towards ending their dependency upon foreign aid."
Kagame, President of Rwanda, invited Dambisa Moyo to speak on the subject of her book, "aid is not helping the development of Africa", shortly after the Netherlands and Sweden decided to suspend their budgetsupport to Rwanda. The reason for that being a UN report on Rwanda's support of rebels inside the DRC. Catherine Philp, correspondent for the sunday times writes today on Kagame in the article "Yesterday a victim, today an oppressor: how aid funds war in Congo"
"15 years (after the genocide), Mr Kagame finds himself cast more as a perpetrator than victim, with the unveiling of Rwanda's role in the plunder and killing in eastern Congo, a war that has claimed the lives of five times as many people as the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur combined. So why are British taxpayers still supporting him?"
Paul Kagame said at a pressconference yesterday, anticipating the visit of Koenders, dutch minister of development cooperation:
"Good help is help that really helps your country advance, bad help is help with all kinds of conditions and political intimidation behind it"
"Here in Rwanda, it is us who take the decisions on our national security, and nobody else, it's ridiculous that they stopped the budgetsupport even before the final draft of the UN report"
Paul Kagame is an intelligent man and as former head of the Ugandan military intelligence he is an expert in modernday information warfare. He knows that it's not the truth that is decisive. Today the dutch member of parliament for the VVD who made sure Koenders couldn't continue his budgetsupport to Rwanda, Arend-Jan Boekestijn, asked Koenders to make sure that Rwanda does not receive one more penny from the dutch taxpayers, because that money is used by Kagame's dictatorship to suppress the majority of Rwandan's citizens.

Dambisa Moyo's arguments on the lack of effectiveness of development aid become less convincing while she is actively campaigning for Paul Kagame. Does she really not know Kagame has a very different agenda? But even the Nelson Mandela foundation in South Africa invited Paul Kagame as you can see in the video below. It shows to me the complexity of Africa's political reality and that you should not believe all the easy slogans and romantic simplifications that are served up over and over again.


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