President Paul Kagame has called on African governments to work on improving business conditions to achieve the much desired private sector led growth.
Kagame was yesterday speaking in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt at the opening of the Africa Business Forum 2017.
The President said that the continent’s economic development and growth will be largely driven by the private sector.
However, for that to happen, he said governments ought to improve the conditions to have conducive business environments.
“Africa’s future prosperity will be delivered, in large part, through inclusive private-sector growth. However, governments have a big role to play to make that a reality,” the President said.
Among the aspects that he said governments can work on include easing doing business by eliminating red tape and unnecessary delays.
“Our continent has to catch up fast and compete globally. We can’t afford to waste opportunities because of unnecessary red tape and the associated delays,” he said.
The business environment can further be improved by speeding up integration which would make it easier for countries to do business with each other and attract more investments, he said.
“This is why regional cooperation is becoming increasingly central to Africa’s future, as we see with the Tripartite Free Trade Area, signed here in Sharm El Sheikh in 2015, which joins COMESA, the East African Community, and the Southern African Development Community, not to mention the larger Continental Free Trade Area being led by the African Union,” Kagame explained.
The ongoing African Union reform process, he said, will serve to speed up the implementation of the agreements.
Kagame also highlighted the importance of increasing access to information technology and broadband to increase connectivity.
“The third example is to put information technology and broadband connectivity into the hands of our young people, particularly entrepreneurs. That is the logic behind the Smart Africa initiative, based in Kigali, with more than twenty Member States around the continent. Prosperous economies are knowledge economies,” he said.
The session was also attended by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt, President Alpha Condé of Guinea (Chairperson of the African Union), President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia and Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
The three day summit is held under the theme, ‘Driving Investment for Inclusive Growth’.
The forum attracted Heads of State and Government, as well as dozens of top industry captains and delegates from across Africa aiming at increasing intra-African investments and cross-border collaboration.