KIGALI, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame has said that time has come to tell Rwandans that they must start thinking beyond him.
The assertion that it is impossible to succeed him during his lifetime is baseless claim by politicians, Rwanda's The News Times quoted Kagame as saying on Friday.
Kagame is expected to participate in the August 4 presidential election after the constitution was amended to allow him another term.
Asked by French magazine Jeune Afrique whether the possible next 7-year term will be his last one, Kagame said "I think so, yes."
"And it is likely that I will clarify this point when we begin the electoral campaign. There is a sort of contract between me, on one hand, the Rwanda Patriotic Front party and the Rwandan people, on the other. They wanted, through the constitutional referendum of December 2015, that I continue my work, which I accepted. But the time has come to tell them that they must start thinking, beyond me," he said.
Kagame said what his government has built is irreversible and will last, with or without him.
"Similar to our economy, our institutions and our abilities, our society is moving forward on a dynamic path. Even though the Rwandan people want me to continue leading for some time, this dynamism will not stop with my departure," he said.
On Rwanda-France lukewarm relations, Kagame said the attitude of France vis-a-vis Rwanda will never change if France's attitude towards Africa remains the same.
"We are expecting something new from President Macron, a new dynamic and a real break from the decades-long confusion. Twenty-three years of negative politics towards Rwanda and sixty years of stagnant politics on Africa from which Africans have never benefited, that's what should be put on the table," he said.