Kagame, The African Continental Free Trade Area Will Not Help You

By David Himbara

Dear General Kagame, here are five reasons why the African Continental Free Trade Area will not help you.

1. You hardly have anything to trade with African countries

As a banana republic, your neighbours will not by your bananas. They have more bananas than you.

2. You are addicted to conflict

As we speak, you are fighting Uganda. You are fighting Burundi. You are killing Congolese refugees.

3. You have no transportation infrastructure to the seaports

Since grabbing direct power in 2000, you have been talking railway. You said the railways to the seaport in Tanzania would be completed in 2012. You shifted the route to Kenya in 2015. And your so-called railway is back to Tanzania.

4. You have no electricity

Under your regime, Rwanda generates and imports 206 Megawatts, 20 percent of which is lost due to dilapidated infrastructure, some of which was built in colonial days. Shockingly, you are now talking of building electric railway to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. You don’t have electricity.

5. Wrong priorities

You love to show off. That leads to wrong priorities. You built a $300 million convention centre. But you have pathetically little electricity which is central to national development.

Kagame, I put it to you that the African Continental Free Trade Area has nothing for you. The only value you will gain is selling Inyange water to the delegates signing the free trade agreement in Kigali.