For Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the UAE is an inspiration to many nations, including his own country.
He said it was inspiring the way the UAE’s leadership places a high value on its people and the private sector.
Kagame added: “You (leaders of the UAE) have shown the world how vision, leadership and the use of natural resources transform scarcity into prosperity.”
Rwanda was one of the three guest countries of the seventh edition of the World Government Summit and while addressing guests on the final day on February 12, Kagame sincerely thanked the leadership of the UAE for the honour.
He said Rwanda has been working hard for the past 24 years to build values of unity and prosperity in the country. “As displayed during the earlier sessions during the summit, our best practices have made significant progress towards the development of Rwanda. However, there is much more to do. It is not possible without the right foundation.”
The Rwandan president listed three factors that led to the rebuilding of the country since the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. More than two decades on, Rwanda’s economy, left in tatters following the genocide, has come a long way. Rwandans are generally living healthier and wealthier lives.
Kagame explained: “Understanding that leaders and institutions are in place to respond to the expectation of citizens. With a focus on civic participation, all Rwandans have contributed to the growth, particularly women.
“As a result of this social contract, the government has been able to invest in human capital and ambitious infrastructure and technology for our future prosperity. However, the means available do not always match the scale of ambitions. We get the most out of our natural resources, and we find creative ways to fill the gaps.”
Kagame said good governance is central to everything Rwanda does. The leader also said regional integration is a key priority in growing in the international markets. “We can only realise our full promise by joining with our de-fragmented African market,” said Kagame.
He said the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is due to enter into action this year, resulting in the continent witnessing unprecedented growth. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent by 2022.
Kagame added: “We want young Rwandans and peers across Africa to remain connected. Young Africans have a real stake in a bright future. We want to equip them with the scales to compete, and this should be our primary focus.”