President Paul Kagame has appealed to international investors to invest in Africa, saying the continent has enormous potential.
He was speaking on Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, US, where he joined leaders in the private and public sectors.
The President highlighted the growth of intra-Africa trade and encouraged the audience to invest in Africa.
He spoke on a panel titled, “Where does growth come from,” alongside former British PM Tony Blair, Willem Buiter, Global Chief economist, Citi, Scott Minerd, chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners, and Osamu Nagayama, chair and chief executvie of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
“Africa’s growth is in the long-term. Investments in Africa is a situation with enormous potential. Both the people and investors would benefit. The message is simple: time is now, Africa is ready for investments in different areas,” he said.
In a session discussing Africa’s energy, President Kagame emphasised the need for increased partnerships between the public and private sectors.
“Our challenges have opportunities. Africa has potential to provide 12 per cent of hydropower energy to the world but things will not work unless governments feel that it is their responsibility. Government cannot sit back and expect private sector to provide energy. Government and private sector must work together to unlock our potential.”
Foreign direct investment
President Kagame began the first day of the conference with a private investors roundtable discussion alongside Blair, Seth Merrin as well as Mahendra Siregar, chair of the Investment Coordinating Board of Indonesia, and Luis Carlos Villegas, ambassador of Colombia to the US.
The session focused on foreign direct investment in Rwanda, Indonesia and Colombia.
Participants exchanged strategies related to foreign direct investment, quality governance, the role of multinationals and supply chain management, the development and integration of capital markets, trade and financial regulation, and regional infrastructure development and financing.
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think-tank and says it believes in the power of capital markets to solve urgent social and economic challenges and improve lives.
Meanwhile, Kagame also shared his personal experience during Rwanda’s liberation struggle with the audience.
“I was involved daily in combat and I was never sure whether I would survive the next day. But we did what was humanely possible to make sure that we carry out the duty we had to do to win and establish a normal situation in Rwanda,” the President said.