President Kagame considers Japan an effective and dependable partner not only of Rwanda, but of Africa as well.
He said in Wednesday that Japan’s partnership with Africa is informed by how it operates in tandem with the continent’s priorities.
“Today, many of TICAD’s innovations have become standard and the forum has continued to evolve in tandem with Africa’s priorities,” he said.
Kagame was speaking at the ongoing 2019 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), alongside African and Japanese leaders, in a plenary session on accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through onnovation and private sector engagement.
Kagame appreciated the exchange with Japanese firms, and measures are in place to facilitate new ventures, particularly public-private partnerships for infrastructure and industry.
The President Kagame said that the key change should be giving importance to the private sector.
He said that Rwanda has put private sector development at the heart of its strategy for prosperity, using three types of investments.
First is governance. “Rwanda has made good use of the World Bank’s Doing Business tools to overhaul the enabling environment for enterprise.”
Today Rwanda ranks among the top global reformers in facilitating businesses to thrive.
“We established specialised commercial courts and worked with neighbours for deeper integration to facilitate trade in the East African Community region,” he said.
Secondly, Rwanda has invested in infrastructure and technology. For example, he said, “an innovative public-private partnership supplies wholesale broadband data to power the digitalisation of our economy. Rwanda has also invested in high-quality convention& tourism facilities.”
The third, and most importantly, “we invest in people.”
He said that producing “Made in Rwanda” and “Made in Africa” products requires skilled young people who are in good health,” he said, thanking Japan’s Initiative, the African Business Education Initiative for Youth by the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JAICA), to support young personnel who can be a “Navigator”, for contributing to the development of industries in Africa.
He said the initiative has significantly contributed towards skills development.
Rwanda has also expanded technical and vocational training with an emphasis on digital skills, as well as funding support for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, Japanese investment have increased in recent years, especially in horticulture, agribusiness, and technology.