LONDON - President Paul Kagame arrived in London over the weekend for a four-day working visit. While in the UK, the President will participate in the Business Call to Action Event, an initiative aimed at bringing the private sector on board to boost economic development to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The event, hosted by the UK Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), opens today.
Kagame will also hold talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other senior UK officials. Today’s event will bring together Chief Executives and Board Chairs from some of the world’s largest and most prestigious companies who are expected to showcase their plans to assist in building economies and reduce poverty in developing countries.
The meet is part of the global Call to Action launched last year by Prime Minister Brown together with the UN Secretary General, where 21 business leaders signed a declaration committing them to be part of a global alliance that would take action to meet the MDGs.
President Kagame will also participate in a high level panel discussion which will include Prime Minister Brown, President John Kufour of Ghana, Deputy UNSG Aisha Misigaro and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis.
The President is expected to speak about Rwanda’s perspective on how the private sector can help meet the challenges of achieving the MDGs. Kagame will deliver a keynote address on state building in Rwanda at the DFID Speakers’ Series hosted by the DFID Secretary of State, Douglas Alexander and attended by DFID staff and partners.
The DFID Speakers’ Series was launched last month with Sir Bob Geldof as the first speaker. While in London, President Kagame is expected to meet with Tony Blair, who visited Rwanda in February as part of ongoing joint efforts to build capacity in Rwanda’s civil service, develop a think tank and promote private investment.
On Wednesday, he is scheduled to meet with several Parliamentarians led by All Party Parliamentary Group as well as with Lord Malloch Brown, Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN.
President Kagame arrived in the UK from Washington DC where he addressed the Higher Education Global Summit organized by the State Department, Department of Education and DFID.
He met with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice after the summit, where they followed up on several economic, social and political issues in Rwanda and in the region, discussed during President George Bush’s visit to Kigali earlier this year.
Secretary Rice thanked President Kagame for participating in the summit and for his leadership in promoting education, science and technology on the continent. They both expressed hope that the summit would lead to more programmes to enhance higher education in developing countries.