This morning, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is in South African capital Johannesburg taking part in the African Investment Forum an exclusively transactional platform for investments on the continent.
Currently the Chair of the East African Community bloc, President Kagame is tabling to the forum the available opportunities for investment from his bloc.
“Only Africans have let ourselves down and we are now realising that it has always been our time and we are here to seize every opportunity and be where we should be,” Kagame told the forum.
Hundreds of delegates are gathered at the Sandton Convention Center while Kagame, President Cyril Ramaphosa of south Africa, President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana , Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário of Mozambique engage in a panel discussion.
“We have concentrated on creating a good environment for people to do business, a predictable governance system, security, in a region of East African Community that is probably the fastest growing region on our continent and Rwanda being part of and benefiting from that,” says Kagame.
This panel has also deliberated on opportunities for investment in West, North and Southern regions of the continent. Africa believes in enhancing the recently signed free trading zone on the continent.
In his remarks, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo says, “It’s important when having this kind of meeting that we have this immediate future in mind & our economies hopefully are going to be locked into a common market with all the commonalities for the development of Africa.”
For the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the continent needs to have concerted efforts that ensure that investments in various sectors complement vision of its people.
In his signature request to bring women onboard of all decision making organs, Kagame urged Africa to involve women, “there are many who are capable so we should not leave them behind. We should have accountable transparent system of governance, create rule of law, for people to know what to expect.”
Focusing on Rwanda at the forum, President Kagame told delegates that his country has an Innovation Fund created with the support of the AfDB, and government has injected money, “we want private people to come and invest as well”.
“We have created the Agri-business hub, between 15-20,000 hectares we are trying to put under irrigation and partner with private sector in agribusiness for exports,” Kagame said while wooing investors to Rwanda.
He said Rwanda has Kigali Innovation City, where technology companies and higher institutions of learning come together with financial services to allow Startup Company to develop and grow, “We expect private capital to come in and grow that.”
This 3-day forum is organised by African Development Bank Group and South Africa’s Gauteng Provincial government.