The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed its solidarity with the ruling party of Rwanda, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) at the party’s Extraordinary National Congress held last weekend in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
The chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations Subcommittee, Comrade Edna Molewa congratulated Rwandan President Paul Kagame for his country’s significant achievements under the leadership of the RPF. The the RPF’s Nine-Point Political Programme bears similarity to the ANC Strategy and Tactics.
The relatively small country has managed to achieve consistently high economic growth rates and is widely regarded as one of the strongest economies on the continent. Rwanda also consistently ranks high on a number of human development indices.
The ANC and the RPF enjoy longstanding fraternal ties. The peoples of the two countries also share ‘a shared birthday’, having experienced political rebirth in 1994. President Kagame visited South Africa in 2001 where he was warmly received by the ANC and President Mandela.
The RPF like the ANC was founded on the premise of forging unity amongst the people of Rwanda following a devastating and bloody history that sought to tear the nation apart. The RPF like the ANC faces the task of nation-building whilst simultaneously addressing a legacy of skewed development that advantaged certain groups over others.
Rwandans will go to the polls in August to elect a new President, and the ANC expressed its support for President Kagame, saying the party would ‘always continue to nurture and build bridges as well as build friendship and solidarity with the people of Rwanda.’
Comrade Molewa noted that South Africa and Rwanda “shared mutual experiences and struggles from a social point of view, economically, culturally, and also people to people,” adding that this was “within the context of the sovereignty of our respective countries.”
She reiterated that South Africa would continue to work with President Kagame and the leadership of the RPF in building a unified Africa. She added that the ANC recognized the role played by the RPF in the growing prosperity of the people of Rwanda.
“You are really making us proud,” Comrade Molewa told the Congress delegates.
She told delegates that the ANC would soon go to a National Policy Conference, followed by a National Conference; and that the ANC would be at both conferences making the point that South Africa is an integral part of Africa.
“If Africa fails, South Africa will fail…if South Africa fails, Africa will fail.. if Rwanda fails, Africa will fail, she said to resounding applause.
The subcommittee chairperson told the Congress the ANC looked forward to working together with Rwanda in implementing Agenda 2063 of the African Union. “We will work together to silence the guns on our continent, and we will work together to bring about prosperity of our nations,” she said.
Molewa conveyed the message from the leadership of the ANC that the organization remained committed to working with the RPF, and congratulated the RPF on the hosting of a successful and well-run Congress.