President Paul Kagame has called for African heads of state and government to be actively involved in maintaining momentum towards the set goals of various continental organizations and initiatives.
President Kagame was speaking at New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the sidelines of the African Union Summit.
Kagame is in Ethiopia for the African Union Summit which kicks off Sunday after taking part in the weeklong World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Kagame told fellow heads of states that their personal involvement and commitment, reflects the importance they give to delivering results and would maintain momentum towards set goals.
“The personal involvement and commitment of Heads of State and Government reflects the importance they give to delivering results. It is also central to the high-level advocacy required at many levels, both on the continent and globally, and for maintaining momentum towards the set goals,” Kagame said.
To be actively involved in the delivery towards set goals, Kagame said that it was important to have an amicable model for sharing responsibility among themselves which would also reflect the diversity of the African continent.
“This is why it is critical to work out an appropriate way to share this responsibility, while reflecting the diversity of our continent,” he said.
The continent has multiple initiatives targeting development against aspects such as increased trade, integration, peace and security and infrastructure development among others.
However often, the initiatives and progress often fail to achieve desired goals and objectives probably due to lack of top level advocacy by the continent’s leaders.
With NEPAD serving as an organization to promote the African continent development, Kagame said that it was important to carry out an independent assessment of its work and impact with an aim to reinforce and make it more effective.
“NEPAD is ultimately about the development of our continent, about delivering, as best as we can, to African citizens. This is something to keep in mind as the various options on how to move forward are discussed and adopted. An independent assessment of the work and impact of the organization, carried out with a view to reinforce and make it even more effective, would be useful and should be seriously considered,” he said.
Kagame commended the organization for its forward looking approach and its involvement in aspects such as agriculture, infrastructure and technologies the continent.
He said that the ongoing African Union reforms envision the organization a development arm of the African Union.
“NEPAD has also been forward-looking, in terms of early reflection, on how to reposition itself within the African Union, even before the current reform agenda. This should be commended especially because the ongoing reform envisions NEPAD as the development arm of the African Union, which is a key priority. What this means is that the role of this organization will be even more significant,” he said.
Peace and Security Council
Kagame later joined fellow heads of states for the African Union Peace and Security Council meeting which also took part on the sidelines of the summit.
The meeting which was chaired by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was also attended by Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres.
Speaking at the meeting, President Kagame said that peace and security challenges were facing the continent are not insurmountable despite being grave.
He pledged Rwanda’s support in the fight against terrorism.
“The challenges are very serious but not insurmountable. Rwanda will be strong partner as we count on each other for appropriate actions to fight terrorism,” Kagame said.
Both Mahamat and Guterres called for a collective and comprehensive approach to the fight against terrorism.
A section of the continent continues to face peace and security related challenges in countries such as Libya, Somalia, South Sudan and Chad among others.
The challenge called for collective efforts by the entire continent as it could hamper integration efforts in unstable regions.
On Kagame’s first day at the African Union summit, he held talks with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
During the summit, Kagame is set to take over as the chairperson of the African Union where among other aspects, he is expected to continue to lead the African Union reforms agenda.