After spending 23 years as the head of state, Kagame has expressed his desire to step down and hand over power to a new leader.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame announced that a succession plan is currently under active discussion within the ruling party. He made the statement during a joint press briefing with his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, in Kigali. Mr. Kagame referred to his retirement as an “inevitability.”
Mr Kagame said he was not necessarily interested in choosing his successor but rather in creating an environment that would give rise to people who can lead.
“We have been having this discussion within our [ruling] party since 2010 but circumstances, challenges, and history of Rwanda tend to dictate certain things,” he said in a report by the BBC.
He said his retirement was an issue that has to be discussed “sooner or later”, adding his certainty to “join journalism in my old age. I’m looking forward to that,” Mr Kagame said.
His comments come days after the country’s ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi), elected its first woman vice-chairperson.
President Kagame retained the chairmanship position. He has led the party since 1998.
This was not the first time Mr Kagame has talked about retirement. In December 2022, he said he had no problem becoming an ordinary senior citizen.
In 2015, a controversial referendum in Rwanda removed a two-term constitutional limit for presidents. Mr. Kagame, who has been in power since 2000, was able to run for a third term and win the election.
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