Pursue win-win partnerships, Kagame to African ambassadors

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President Kagame with Rwandan students in China. In the background is Rwanda's Ambassador to China, Charles Kayonga. As part of his meeting with students, Kagame also met with members of Rwanda's Private Sector who traveled to China to pursue investment opportunities. / Village Urugwiro

President Paul Kagame has challenged African envoys based in China to pursue win-win partnerships as they engage with the rest of the world to facilitate the continent’s quest for development.

Kagame made the remarks yesterday afternoon while addressing African ambassadors based in China on the second day of his two-day official visit.

President Kagame said that the African continent ought to keep strengthening and improving the quality of partnerships globally and ensure that they present win-win scenarios.

“We can always keep strengthening and improving the quality of such partnerships, which must be win-win. 

Even in the case of Europe and the US, we must continue to emphasize our ambitions and ensure that we get fair deals out of these partnerships,” Kagame said.

The African continent, he said has all preconditions for development including human capital and material wealth and ought to fit in the global scene as equals as opposed to continued dependence on partners.

“It is my belief that we have everything that we need to succeed, with all the wealth that we possess in our countries; beginning with the most important which is human capital. Second in terms of material wealth; we have as much as the rest of the world has.”

“How can we continue to accept that tax payers of other countries are the ones who toil to take care of our livelihood? We should manage ourselves and our resources. We should fit into the global scene as equals, because we lack nothing,” Kagame told the envoys.

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President Kagame also met with African envoys to China. / Village Urugwiro

Among the ways that the continent can become independent and spearhead its own development, the President said was by engaging in investment opportunities beneficial to Africa.

The President further emphasized on the need for unity characterized by countries looking out for each other’s interests.

“As African ambassadors, you need to keep the message alive that we need to keep working together at all levels of leadership. We need to keep looking out for each other's best interests.  If we implement this belief, there is nothing stopping us from succeeding,” he said.

The unity in spite of the different aspects in the continent, he noted was also important in exposing the influences of other parties some which have not been in the Africa’s best interests.

Speaking on the decision of the institutional reforms adopted by AU, President Kagame further emphasized how these underscore the desire by Africans to implement the necessary changes that will improve many things for the continent.

Meeting with student leaders and private sector

Prior to winding up his visit, the President met Rwandan student leaders and members of the Rwandan private sector who had travelled to China to explore investment opportunities in the areas of agro-processing, manufacturing, energy among others.

To the student leaders, President Kagame encouraged them to study hard and bring the expertise to Rwanda.

About 95 per cent of the estimated 1,381 Rwandans living in China are students in higher learning institutions.

The students are pursing multiple disciples including studies in Energy, Electronics and Waste Water Management, Aeronautical Engineering, International Trade among others most of which come in handy in the national development process.

With the two countries outlining new aspects of partnership after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Kagame said that there would be more opportunities for Rwandans both in China and back home.

He encouraged them to take advantage of the numerous opportunities by using expertise gained from China as well as investment openings the two countries aim to develop.

During the two-day official visit to China, the President was accompanied by the First Lady Jeannette Kagame and top government officials.

The mission saw an increase in aspects of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in aspects such as investment promotion, technical training, infrastructure development, tourism development as well defence and peacekeeping activities among others.

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