President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue last Thursday. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population. While it would be difficult to dislodge a president who is credited with the nation’s economic transformation, no woman has made it to the ballot for the presidency in Rwanda’s history despite the president’s wish. Only two women have attempted to run for the top seat—Victoire Ingabire in 2010 and Diane Rwigara in 2017. Their attempts were, however, short-lived and unsuccessful as both were arrested shortly after announcing their bids to run against Kagame. Related Stories KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Advertisement Potential successors The ruling party, RPF, has notable women who have previously risen through the ranks and are seen as potential successors once Kagame decides to pass on the button. Experts say Rwanda has a pool of women leaders who can match the challenge. The Cabinet is 52 per cent female while they make up 68 per cent of parliament. “There are many young and experienced women in political offices now. One name that comes up to me easily is Louise Mushikiwabo, who has vast experience in leadership and can take the challenge,” Ismail Buchanan, a professor of politics told The EastAfrican. “But most importantly, I think it is not about a particular individual but the need for continuation of Rwanda’s (upward) trajectory.” Still energetic Ms Mushikiwabo is the secretary-general of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and previously served as Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Rwanda from 2009 to 2018. A week ago, President Kagame had again talked up his retirement, this time in a more subtle manner. While attending the 2019 Doha Forum, he answered “most likely not” to a question on whether he will seek for a fourth term in 2024. “I don’t know yet, but most likely no. When I say most likely, I mean I don’t want to lock myself into anything. I want to have some breathing space,” Kagame said. “But I think that given the way things are or have been in the past, it depends on two things. But I think I have made up my mind where am concerned personally that it is not going to happen next time.” President Kagame won a resounding third term in 2017 by 99 per cent of the vote, following a referendum in 2015 that suspended term limits. Before that, Kagame had made several suggestions that he might not seek a third term, but changed his mind after the constitution was amended in 2015 with 98 per cent voting to amend article 101 on presidential term limits. Now having served as president since 2000, he is alongside President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the longest-serving leader in the East African Community. The constitution allows him to run for another two five-year terms until 2034, and Mr Kagame says he still has a “lot of energy left to keep going” despite the economic transformation that he has overseen since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. “I can go on for several more years; I am not tired of doing what I am doing. I am working with my people and my country, and moving from the past of tremendous challenges but also making progress and creating hope for the people of Rwanda,” he said in Doha. He added: “It is never mission accomplished. As far as we are concerned, it is work-in-progress.” Public Policy 

AU Elects Pres. Paul Kagame to Drive Africa’s 2063 Agenda

    The African Union (AU) has unanimously elected President Paul Kagame as the new chairperson of one of its new agencies that will drive the continent towards vision 2063. Kagame was yesterday, elected chairperson of African Union Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC). The AUDA-NEPAD is an integral component of the AU which brings both institutions together to work effectively, and Kagame said it’s everyone’s duty to make it happen. The election that was held at the 37th HSGOC…

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News Public Policy 

29th Ordinary Session of AU, Concludes In Addis Ababa

The 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of AU was officially opened on 30th June, 2017 at the African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and has come to close after 9 days. By Amen Teferi The fifteen years old continental organization AU consists of all the 55 countries on the African continent. AU was launched in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, replacing the Organization of African Union (OAU). Ethiopia was busy hosting its guests for the last nine days, as the various statutory organs of the Union met in…

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Pres Gagame calls for urgent Africa Union reforms

President Paul Kagame has called for urgency in the implementation of the African Union reforms adopted at the last African Union Summit in January this year. The Head of State was speaking in Conakry, Guinea at the invitation of President Alpha Conde, the current Chairperson of the African Union. Alongside President Kagame were President Idriss Deby of Chad, and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat. Read President Kagame’s full speech below: Good morning. It is a pleasure to be back in Conakry. I would like to begin by thanking…

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Politics 

Another African Union failure in Sudan

The AU’s silence in the face of a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters, has undermined their credibility yet again. The brutal crackdown in late September by Sudan’s security forces and militias, resulted in over 200 deaths and hundreds of protesters wounded and arrested, according to Sudanese and international human rightsorganisations. The largest anti-government demostrations in many years saw protesters who sought a reversal of the government’s decision to reduce fuel subsidies. The incident also resulted in the detention of a number of political opponents, a crackdown on journalists, and restrictions on freedom of…

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Artists & Reviews Politics 

Africa Somalia’s effort deserves plaudit

By Ralph Geeplay The African Union recent military offensive in Somalia, if anything, which saw troops taking full control of the Somali port city of Kismayo must be praised. By capturing the most important iron grip of the al-Shabaab Islamist group, and virtually beating them on the battlefield in Somalia, Africa has put a feather in the cap. It is a significant achievement for a continent that is always looking for international mediation and foreign boots to solve its problems. It is now known that the group is on the…

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