President Kagame delivers Keynote Address at the Global African Investment Summit
In his Keynote Address, President Kagame warned Africans against taking time to put words into action:
“Good momentum and tangible results will do more to increase support for integration than any amount of closed-door negotiation, among technical experts. Africa cannot just remain a story, about huge potential that never materialises. Something has to give. Postponing our priorities and delaying our commitments are the most expensive mistakes that Africa can make. There is nothing we are waiting for, and nothing we lack. Let’s work together across sectors and borders, with the right mindset of urgency, and build the Africa we want. We do not need to dwell too much on reminders that investment and good governance are critically important, and that integration is profoundly in Africa’s interest. We know it, we believe in it. What remains is just to be doing what is necessary to make it reality."
During panel discussions that dwelt on regional integration, President Kagame said that Africans had clear choices; they had to use their time well and move forward or take their time and sink deeper into poverty. He said regional integration was key in taking Africans where they want to be.
"If we increase intra-Africa trade we would solve so many problems like reversing the process where our resources go abroad and we buy products at a high price. Integration and trading with each other would ensure that we add value to our resources and avoid this trend."
President Museveni said Africans have had lots of lost opportunities but that now was the time for them to take integration of small markets seriously.
Concerning Rwanda's development targets, president Kagame said there was need for sustainability by taking various deliberate concrete measures that include stability, infrastructure development and involving Rwandans, among others.
The two-day Summit has attracted global investors, private sector project owners, government ministers and other public sector representatives.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda alongside President Kagame, took part in an interactive opening thought leadership panel. The panel discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the African economic landscape.
Hosted for the first time on the African continent, TGAIS is also intended to be a networking platform that will facilitate investment deals and transactions between bankable projects, businesses and high net worth investors.
“The Global African Investment Summit will be the rallying cry for investors to come together and trigger deals that will potentially herald a new era for Africa, one that stimulates social and economic development, and uplifts the living standards of Africans. This will transform and modernise the African economy and ultimately strengthen our union,” said Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General of COMESA.
The Summit will facilitate trade and investment across the COMESA region, is expected to be pivotal in Africa’s economic and development journey.