Ruto: African leaders are threatened with consequences if they fail to attend some international meetings
President William Ruto revealed that African leaders are sometimes forced to attend international meetings in foreign powerful countries because of blackmail.
Speaking at the Pan-African Parliament Summit on Climate Policy and Equity in Midrand, South Africa on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, Ruto lamented that African heads of state are usually forced to attend international meetings even if there is no meaningful outcome.
"The most unfortunate thing is that some of the people who invite us to these meetings tell us 'if you don't come there will be consequences'. So all of us are forced to go to a meeting that has no meaningful outcome because of blackmail. This is not right good people, this is not ok," Ruto told the Pan-African Parliament.
The Kenyan President stressed that 50 African leaders meeting one head of state will not yield any meaningful outcome.
"Continuously when others want to engage with us they don't want to deal with the troika. They want to invite 50 heads of state. So we go to a meeting, just explain to me, what kind of outcome you expect where 50 heads of state are sitting, everybody is asked to speak for one and a half minutes.
"What kind of engagement are you going to get? You going to get nothing. The best that you get is photographs. You get these photographs. They normally line us up somewhere, crowds of 50 heads of state and that is what we come home with," Ruto said.
The Kenyan President further told the Pan-African Parliament that henceforth the continent's leaders will be represented by the African Union (AU) chairperson and leaders of other regional blocks on the international stage.
"We have been to US-Africa [summit], we have been to some other engagements with some other countries. Now we have been invited for the Russia-Africa summit. We have made a decision very respectfully as heads of state in Africa that any engagement with other partners must be an engagement of equals.
"And for it to be meaningful, if we are going to meet the president of a country, we have organised ourselves that the troika is going to represent Africa. The current chair, the past chair, the chair that is coming and the likes of our regional economic commissions - about six, seven people," Ruto said.