[AUDIO] Intra-Africa trade to reduce donor dependence: Kagame


President Kagame speaks during a one-on-one discussion with CNN emerging markets editor John Defterios at the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, yesterday. (Village Urugwiro)

President Paul Kagame has said Rwanda does not intend to remain dependent on donor support but rather aims at transitioning to sustainable development by attracting investments and doing business.

The President was yesterday speaking at World Government Summit, currently underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with John Defterios, the CNN emerging markets editor, on a one-on-one discussion.

The global summit is dedicated to shaping the future of governments worldwide by shaping the agenda with a focus on how they can harness innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity.

Kagame said the national vision is to make sure that Rwanda can stand on its feet, develop, attract investments and do business.

“Donor support is not something we wanted to rely on forever, it was there to help build our foundation, institutions and different fundamentals to be in place so that we can sustain our economy based on what we can do ourselves and also within the region, for example through regional integration,” the President said.

The transition from donor dependence, he said would be made possible by regional integration and increased intra-Africa trade.

He said so far as a result of integration, Rwanda was already experiencing increased trade within the East African Community as well as trade between the community and other regions.

Under the president’s leadership, Rwanda has been pursuing regional integration through multiple ways and is a member of several trading blocs including; East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)and Economic Community of Central African States (ECASS).

Sustaining growth with resilience

Kagame noted that, going forward, the country aimed at sustaining economic growth driven by resilience and good partnership.

He added that laws and policies necessary to attract internal and external investments were already in place.

“The laws that we need to have in place have been passed. This is building on what we have done since the year 2000,” Kagame said.

“We have seen a lot of progress in building institutions, strengthening them, service delivery has been very significant and involving the Rwandan people in different productive sectors. 2016 is really focused on building on what we have already done in terms of macro-economic stability created.”

Trucks at Rwanda-Gatuna border post. President Kagame says intra-Africa trade will reduce donor dependence. (File)

Noting that there was nothing holding back African countries from developing regional trade to the level of developed nations, he called on African countries to deepen trade ties with a goal of shared prosperity.

President Kagame also noted the role of citizen involvement in national development, saying nations will fail if Governments and citizens do not work together to fulfill the people’s aspirations.

Meeting with students

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the summit, President Kagame met students from Harvard Business School and John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard where he tipped them on aspects of leadership and governance.

Speaking to the students, he emphasised on the importance and impact of locally sourced solutions aimed at addressing challenges experienced by locals.

“Nobody will ever deliver a solution from outside. If they say they are, they are not being truthful,” he said.

On the global economy which economists and financial experts have predicted is likely to face tough times ahead, the president said that it is not and shouldn’t necessarily be a situation of hopelessness.

He called on African countries to work together as a bloc to confront the challenging times and do what needs to be done.