October 24 , 2010


The President of Rwanda Speaks


Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Ben Affleck, Natalie Portman, the CEOs of Starbucks and Visa, Howard G. Buffett, Robert de Niro, Susan Rice, Don Cheadle, and many other celebrities are amongst his most fervent admirers. For them, Paul Kagame is the man who produced the Rwandan Miracle. The one who was able to make a people and a nation rise from the ashes of the last genocide of the twentieth century. But this former refugee, once a warlord by necessity, who then became the president of a country that he endeavors to lead down the path of economic emergence with an iron hand, also has fierce enemies who consider him to be a sort of African Machiavelli. His opponents, human rights organizations in particular, criticize him for favoring development over democracy. Saint or demon, virtuous liberator or dictator: rarely has a head of state been as controversial as he. Twenty years after the genocide of the Tutsis from Rwanda, causing one million deaths in one hundred days in the Land of a Thousand Hills, Paul Kagame candidly reveals himself for the very first time.

François Soudan is the managing editor of Jeune Afrique, a leading news weekly based in Paris, and has authored biographies of Nelson Mandela and Muammar el-Qaddafi. Soudan has traveled to Rwanda on numerous occasions over the past twenty years. His interviews with Paul Kagame took place in Kigali between December 2013 and March 2014.

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