News24

I've not failed – Wade

2010-03-19 13:36

Dakar - Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade said on Friday he could not recollect a single failure during his decade in power and his achievements included good roads and high education spending.

Wade, 84, whose election on March 19 2000 ended 40 years of socialist rule, said he was proud of having persuaded the population of the west African state to accept heavy expenditure on education.

"My biggest achievement, is having managed to persuade the Senegalese people to accept investing 40% of the budget in education," he said in an interview with French radio station RFI to mark his decade in power.

"Everything has changed in Senegal" during his 10 years in power, he added, notably the quality of the roads.

"My predecessors built bad roads and we had to do them again every year... but now we have roads just like ones in Europe," he said.

Wade said that 70% of the nation's population of 12 million were poor farmers who were not "particularly content" but who were better off as a result of his decade in power.

Wade pointed to his agricultural policy launched in 2008 to boost production as a "revolution".

"Go and ask the peasants if they are worse off," he said.

Feet in water


"On the contrary. I am not saying they are particularly content, that is not true because they have a hard life, but their situation is improving."

The president denied that he had failed in any area during his 10-year rule.

"I have not failed, I can't think of any days on which I failed and I would be happy if you could find one such area..." he said.

He admitted, however, that residents of parts of the suburbs of the capital Dakar had a right to be discontented because of recurrent flooding.

More than 300 000 people are still affected by the floods that occurred in August and September last year, he said.

"These people still have their feet in water," he said. "Logically, these are the people who should be unhappy."

He said heavy equipment was now available and Senegal was counting on French soldiers to join with Senegal troops in resolving the problem.