The Strange Case of The World Bank’s President Jim Yong Kim And Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame

By David Himbara

Psychologists tell us that unconscious body language reveals more than we realize – especially in couples that are in love. And so it is with the World Bank’s President Jim Yong Kim and the Rwandan dictator, Paul Kagame. Their body language speaks volumes. Their smiles extend beyond their mouths and involve their whole faces – a sure sign of genuine affection. Physical contact is another strong body language that indicates love. Their full-fledged hand-holding and close body contact signify a strong desire to connect. There can be no doubt that Jim and Paul are deeply enchanted with one another.

But being in love can be problematic. Such a state of mind is known to cause a person to behave irrationally. The head of a leading global development agency – the World Bank – is reflecting these symptoms. Jim Yong Kim’s fondness of Kagame is irrational and most troubling.

For example, on what basis did Jim Yong Kim invite Kagame to deliver the keynote address at the 2017 World Bank’s Human Capital Summit? The world has nearly 200 heads of state. Jim Yong Kim could not find a more suitable president to address human capital? For simplicity, let us define human capital as

“the collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets of individuals that can be used to create economic value for the individuals, their employers, or their community.”

Kagame’s expertise is the reverse – predator of human capital. He is an expert in crony capitalism that promotes mediocrity while destroying human capital. And he is a dictator unleashing terror on society. Here are few random examples:

  1. Kagame just won presidential elections by 99% in a voter turnout of 98%. I doubt even the Pope would win the Vatican with such a margin. This puts Kagame in the league of Kim Jong-un of North Korea.
  2. One of the would-be competitors to Kagame was Diane Shima Rwigara. Kagame barred her from running for the presidency, and has since thrown her in jail, along with her sister and her mother. They are charged with attempting to overthrow Kagame. Two years earlier Diane Rwigara’s father, a leading businessman, died in a mysterious auto accident. When the family demanded an inquiry, the Kagame government response was to destroy their hotel.
  3. Kagame’s ruling party is now the second largest employer in Rwanda – second to government. The party’s Crystal Ventures Ltd makes its money almost exclusively from government contracts.
  4. To travel to overseas meetings such as the World Bank’s Human Capital Summit, Kagame charters a $60 million Gulfstream executive jet from his ruling party’s company, Crystal Ventures. In other words, Kagame the president charters an executive jet from Kagame, the Chairman of the ruling party.
  5. Meanwhile, Kagame is destroying competitors to Crystal Ventures. Just last month, the Kagame regime auctioned a $20 million shopping mall belonging to the leading Rwandan businessman who fled into exile. The new owners paid a mere $8 million for the property.
  6. While Kagame boasts that Rwanda has a national healthcare system, the country has 670 doctors in a population of 12 million.
  7. In education, Kagame changed the teaching language from French to English overnight. Then the regime started importing teachers from Uganda and Kenya to teach English to Rwandan teachers. The scheme proved to be too costly and unsustainable.
  8. Higher education is in total shambles. The University of Rwanda is struggling to even pay its teachers, let alone deliver the skills required on the Rwandan labour market.

Dear Mr Jim Yong Kim, I am sure you are well aware of the expression “love is blind.” This is a fitting description for your current condition. Clearly, you do not see the monstrosities of the man you love.

Pity the Rwandan people who now suffer the double tragedies of the Kagame’s regime and the financier of the dictatorship – the World Bank.