President Kagame yesterday arrived in New Delhi for a two-day visit during which he will attend the Indian Economic Summit hosted by the World Economic Forum and Confederation of Indian Industry today.
Held in Asia’s third largest economy under the theme, “Redefining Public-Private Cooperation for a New Beginning,” the forum brings together leaders in the field of business, government and civil society for a discussion focused on inclusive growth.
President Kagame’s visit began with an interactive discussion hosted by CII with over 30 business leaders representing sectors, including energy, health, manufacturing, education, ICT and agro-processing.
Referring to the historical ties, the President reminded the audience of the long standing relationship that exists between India and East Africa.
“India and East Africa are no strangers to one another. We have engaged in trade for centuries and the economic contributions made by East Africans of Indian origin are an important factor in our region’s dynamism,” Kagame said.
He invited the business leaders to invest in Rwanda and East Africa and build on the integration efforts taking place in the region.
Meeting with Confederation of Indian Industry - New Delhi, 4 November 2014. Source: Paul Kagame / YouTube
“With the Northern Corridor Integration Projects–involving Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan and, more recently, Ethiopia–we aim to connect our people and markets to each other and to the world like never before. Connecting our region to India would be beneficial for both sides.”
With the current annual investment from India at $78 million, President Kagame invited those present to build on the existing partnerships and do more with the region.
“The business partnership between India and East Africa is strong. But I believe there is much more that we can undertake together. Our economies are ready and we need more of India, both in Rwanda and in East Africa in general,” he said.
CII is not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organisation, playing a proactive role in India’s development.
The confederation was founded in 1895, and has over 7,200 members from the private as well as public sectors, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and multinational companies and an indirect membership of over 100,000 enterprises from around 242 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.
The interactive discussion was co-chaired by Ninad Karpe, the chief executive of Aptech Ltd, a global learning solutions firm.
Later, Kagame attended the Africa-India boardroom discussion alongside Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, vice-president of Ghana, and Daniel Kablan Duncan, premier of Ivory Coast.
To date, India is one of the largest investors in Africa and both Africa and India are set to provide one of the largest workforce in the world with 1.1 billion and 1 billion, respectively, by 2035.