The African continent ought to seize every available opportunity to attract and nurture investments to live up to the narrative of ‘it’s Africa’s time’, President Paul Kagame has said.
Kagame was yesterday speaking in Johannesburg, South Africa at the second edition of the Africa Investment Forum hosted by the African Development Bank.
The President was speaking alongside South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, and Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário of Mozambique on a panel discussion on Investing in Africa.
The President said that Africa’s development tide will not be turned by solely knowing what ought to be done or capabilities but getting to do it.
“It is not just knowing what you ought to do or being capable of it, it is about actually doing it,” he said.
He challenged leaders and stakeholders from across the continent to seize every available opportunity to get towards where the continent ought to be.
Delegates at the second edition of AfDB’s Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg yesterday. Photo: Village Urugwiro.
“I have always thought it is Africa’s time, we Africans we have let ourselves down. We are now realizing it is Africa’s time and we need to seize every opportunity to be where we should be,” he said.
“Let’s do what we know we have to do, let’s involve our women, see more numbers of women becoming CEOs because they are many who are capable, we should not leave our women behind, that’s what we have tried to address. We know we should have transparent, accountable systems of government, we have to create rule of law in our environment for people to expect certain things to happen and that’s what happens. I cannot give advice that anyone doesn’t know in this room, everyone knows what we are talking about. Let’s just do it,” he added responding to a participant who asked for advice on how to increase investment in Africa.
Highlighting how Rwanda was working to improve the investment ecosystem, Kagame recounted multiple initiatives ranging from policy initiatives such as ensuring predictable governance, ensuring rule of law, guaranteeing security to investment support such as hubs, innovation fund among others.
“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,”
In the agriculture sector, the President said that Rwanda has set up an agri-business hub and an innovation city for the tech sector.
“Rwanda Innovation Fund, created with the support of the AfDB, Government has put in money, we want private people to come and invest as well,” he added.
The summit is one of Africa’s premier investment conference and brings together pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private investors, policymakers, private equity firms, and heads of government.
The two-day Forum is dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.
Other discussions will highlight the need to bridge the gap between Africa’s available capital and bankable projects.
The summit resonates with Rwanda’s ambitions of attracting regional and international investors to take on opportunities in a number of sectors including infrastructure, agriculture, logistics, manufacturing among others.