LONDON - President Paul Kagame, yesterday attended a lunch held in his honour at the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), in London, where he addressed the business members of the Commonwealth for the first time since Rwanda joined the bloc.
The event was hosted by Dr Mohan Kaul, Director General of the CBC, who took the opportunity to welcome Rwanda and President Kagame into the Commonwealth.
In his speech, Dr Kaul told the Council about the benefits Rwandan businesses stand to gain as members of the Commonwealth.
This was also emphasised by President Kagame in his speech. "The joining of the Commonwealth presents a huge opportunity for Rwandan businesses and we are looking forward to forging partnerships with all of the member states," he said.
President Kagame acknowledged that, while Rwanda has shown great commitment to economic development in recent years, there is still a long journey ahead in the path to development and that Rwanda would continue to focus on its main asset – its people – in order to reach the set goals.
President Kagame took the opportunity to invite the members to the Rwanda Investment Forum, to be held in Kigali, May 10-11, 2010.
The event, which is being jointly organised by the CBC and Rwanda Development Board, aims to bring together business and political leaders from Commonwealth member countries, to discuss the investment opportunities in Rwanda.
The forum also aims to promote the fact that, through Rwanda, businesses can access an East African Market of around 150 million people, which is experiencing rapid growth.
It will be the first of its kind since 2008, when Rwanda held the East African International Business Forum, which saw around 500 leaders from business and government attend.
President Kagame hopes the forum will enable the government expand its network of relationships, created by joining the Commonwealth.