Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has embraced social media, eased the cost and hassle for international businesses to invest in the African nation, and looked to South Korea as a model for lifting his nation’s fortunes.
According to his critics, Kagame is yet another African strongman draped in more public relations-friendly clothing who forcefully and violently silences his political opponents.
His sharpest critics include Paul Rusesabagina, of “Hotel Rwanda” fame, who lives in the United States and who told The Washington Post in 2016 he was living outside his home country because he feared for his safety.
What does any of this have to do with Charlotte? Glad you asked. Kagame spent the weekend here, attending the NBA All-Star Game — Rwanda is likely to have one of 12 teams in the newly announced startup league in 2020 that includes significant backing from the NBA — before making a pitch to local business leaders on Monday at The Ballantyne Resort. (NBA Commissioner Adam Silver visited Kagame last year in Rwanda.)
Kagame came at the invitation and urging of Andy Agaba, a native of Uganda and Harvard graduate who runs a nonprofit here that, according to its website, is a Christian economic development organization.