Kagame changes Africa for the better - British premier

LONDON - The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has hailed President Paul Kagame as one of the African Presidents changing the continent for the better. Brown made the remarks yesterday during the opening of the Business Call to Action event held in London. The aim of the meeting was to bring on board major business players in helping developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Kagame and Ghana’s President John Kufuor were the only Heads of State invited for the high-powered meeting.
President Paul Kagame addressing the Call to Action Event in London as British Premier Gordon Brown listens attentively.(PPU photo)
President Paul Kagame addressing the Call to Action Event in London as British Premier Gordon Brown listens attentively.(PPU photo)

LONDON - The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has hailed President Paul Kagame as one of the African Presidents changing the continent for the better.

Brown made the remarks yesterday during the opening of the Business Call to Action event held in London.

The aim of the meeting was to bring on board major business players in helping developing countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Kagame and Ghana’s President John Kufuor were the only Heads of State invited for the high-powered meeting.

"And let me thank for their attendance this morning two Presidents who are changing Africa for the better; Presidents Kagame and Kufuor - men I congratulate as leaders of a new wave of successful, reforming African countries," said the British Premier.

Brown singled out both countries as being among the few making progress in achieving the MDGs because of their sound economic programmes and steadfast growth.

He called on rich countries to play their part and make good their promises on aid and debt relief, and agree to a new World Trade Organisation (WTO) deal in the coming weeks.

The premier called on big businesses to shed off what he termed the "old Fordist guise" of philanthropy as a means of eradicating poverty, and instead focus on developing long term business initiatives that mobilise resources and talents.

"Countries whose economies are growing fastest, like Rwanda and Ghana represented here today, are those that are making progress on the Millennium Development Goals - with countries whose economies are growing more slowly falling behind," Brown pointed out.

"Developing countries - including Ghana and Rwanda - are already working hard to put in place the macroeconomic stability, supportive regulatory environment and measures to tackle corruption that are necessary for business and trade to thrive".

The meeting was organised by the UK government and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

President Kagame was also scheduled to deliver a keynote address on state building in Rwanda at the DFID Speakers’ Series hosted by the DFID Secretary of State, Douglas Alexander and attended by DFID staff and partners. The DFID Speakers’ Series was launched last month.

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