Trade and investment key to development - Kagame

NEW YORK - Rwanda will continue to focus on areas that strengthen trade and investment opportunities, to consolidate the development process, President Kagame said, Tuesday, while addressing members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York.The President also spoke about investment and economic growth in Rwanda, trade and aid to Africa, as well as the African Union’s involvement in conflict resolution on the continent.

NEW YORK -Rwanda will continue to focus on areas that strengthen trade and investment opportunities, to consolidate the development process, President Kagame said, Tuesday, while addressing members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York.

The President also spoke about investment and economic growth in Rwanda, trade and aid to Africa, as well as the African Union’s involvement in conflict resolution on the continent.

“We have focused on trade and investment and how that can reinforce our continued development,” President Kagame said.

“That is why we concentrate on doing business and searching for ways of making it easy for people to come and invest in Rwanda, so far so good.  We still face many challenges ahead and we will continue to confront these challenges,” he added

During the question and answer session, members were particularly keen to know President Kagame’s perspective with regard to trade versus aid for Africa and Rwanda as one of the key areas of interest.

The Head of State noted that aid to Africa and other countries around the world should be welcome, but that it would only be effective if it served the purpose of empowering the people who receive it to build capacities for managing the development process on their own.

“Any aid, any support will have a meaning if it builds capacity of the people so that they can stand on their own two feet,” Kagame said.

“Aid should be accepted and invested in a way that ensures that tomorrow you don’t need more aid. That way, recipients can reap from the benefits that aid provides.”

The Chairman of the Council’s Africa Advisory Board, who is also Africa Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch Chairman, Vincent A.

Mai, on behalf of the members, commended Rwandans for the progress made over the last 17 years.

He called on fellow Council members to continue the conversation on ways to strength foreign relations across the globe.

“Rwanda has shown tremendous progress over the years and we hope to see this progress continue in the years to come,” Mai said.

“The country has faced challenges but has proved that with good governance, resilience and the support of the regional and international community, real progress is possible,” he added.

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