KIGALI - Former British premier Tony Blair’s two-day visit to Rwanda ended on Sunday. Blair has offered his services to boost Rwanda’s economic growth by advising on policy and government efficiency.
During his visit to Kigali, Blair spent several hours with President Paul Kagame and his senior aides, and gave a speech to the country’s Senators.
During the visit, Blair has agreed to help Rwanda attract private investment as it seeks to build its economy. Rwanda is trying to recover from the 1994 Genocide, in which at one million Rwandans were killed.
Blair will now use his international status to promote the opportunities on offer there to foreign investors.
At a press conference at Village Urugwiro on Sunday, Blair stressed the importance of building Rwanda’s private sector, if Rwanda is to reach “a bigger, better, higher level”.
Blair has recommended a new government ministry in charge of Cabinet affairs be created to ease the decision making process.
He has also said there is a need for a policy and research think-tank in Rwanda. At present the country has no active think-tank.
Blair’s visit follows trips this month to Kigali by Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, and US president George W Bush.
He said that it was an “exciting” time to be engaged with the country’s development.
“I think the fascinating thing about Rwanda is that it’s a country that has gone through a terrible and traumatic experience, but has rebuilt itself,” he said.
“It stands now in a situation where people want to take it to a new and higher level of development.”
He added: “The question is how do we build the capability to make that happen, because the vision is one thing and to make it happen is another.
“The vision is clear and good, but it’s doing it - and doing it as we all know is the hard thing. Any help that I can give in that is a privilege.”
Blair and Kagame have held a number of meetings ever since the former stepped down as UK premier in June last year.