By Cyru’s Bengo { abstract} BBC

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has said he is looking forward to retiring and handing over power after 23 years in office.

Paul Kagame: set to retire and become a journalist

Speaking at a joint press briefing with his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Mr Kagame said a succession plan was being actively discussed by the ruling party, terming his retirement an “inevitability”.

Mr Kagame said he was not necessarily interested in choosing his successor but rather 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.

He said his retirement was an issue that has to be discussed “sooner or later”.

“I’m sure one day I may 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.

Mr Kagame has been president of the East African nation since 2000. A controversial referendum in 2015 removed a two-term constitutional limit for presidents.

The president last year told a French TV channel he would stand for president again at the next election in 2024.

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