DP Ruto urges Africans to tell their own story


William Ruto
William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto has called for change in the narrative that portrays Africa as a continent steeped in poverty, corruption and disease.

In his address during the opening of the Eastern Africa Region Pan African Congress at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Monday, Ruto said time had come for Africans to write a narrative that creates a true picture of the continent.

He hit out at some African civil societies, which he claimed “perpetuate false impression of the continent with scripts provided by foreigners”

“We are used to a civil society that is paid and given a script with the narrative that Africa is a continent of diseases, poverty, corruption and ignorance. We need civil societies that believe in Africa to write a new narrative for own people.”

Ruto also emphasised that the Kenyan leadership believed in the continent and in Africans, adding that the country has opened up visa acquisition to ease movement across the continent.

“We want this to be on a reciprocal basis, we should give first priority for people in the continent to access opportunities in our countries,” said Ruto.

“Kenya is a driver in removing the barriers, eliminating the hurdles that exist in doing business as East Africans, as Tripartite Free Area Agreement and as continent.”

Ruto pointed out that the tripartite Free Area Agreement, signed by African leaders, brings together 26 countries to create a common market and ease movement of people in the continent, which is home to 625 million people.

“Indeed we are experiencing and witnessing the birth of a new Pan Africanism with budding crop of entrepreneurs, technologist harnessing the power of mobile and Internet to challenge Africa’s problems, “ he added.

He praised the global Entrepreneurship summit, which was co-hosted by President Kenyatta and US President Barack Obama, saying it showcased commitment in unlocking the potential of the young people in the continent.

On his part, Uganda Minister for Justice and constitution Major Gen Kahinda Otafire said there was need to uphold African sovereignty adding Africa was poor because of the disorganisation of the African people but not for lack of resources.

He decried the tendency of the African people to go abroad seeking for greener pastures, noting that African diaspora was suffering in Europe and America yet resources abound on the continent.

Gen Otafire called for the establishment of an African Court of Justice to try cases on the continent to prevent Africans from being tried abroad at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Attorney General Githu Muigai called on Africans to take responsibility of their destiny and build the continent together.

The conference was organised by the Attorney General’s office and attended by the Attorney General Githu Muigai, Uganda’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Major General Kahinda Otafire and Solicitor General Njee Muturi.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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