While speaking at the International School for Government at King’s College in London, President Paul Kagame said that UK-Africa Investment Summit was timely in terms of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Africa and re-imagine Britain’s global trade and investment arrangements.
President Kagame made the remarks on Tuesday before holding a conversation with Alexander Downer, former foreign minister of Australia, and Executive Chair of international School for Government, King’s College London.
In his remarks, the head of state observed that the first is that yesterday’s UK-Africa Investment Summit was successful
“The first is that yesterday’s UK-Africa Investment Summit was successful. I believe we will see positive momentum in 2020 in terms of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Africa, including Rwanda,” President Kagame said.
He added, “The timing is good. Britain is looking to re-imagine its global trade and investment arrangements. And later this year, the world’s largest new free trade area will become operational in Africa, covering nearly the entire continent,”
Kagame noted that the African Continental Free Trade Area should serve as demonstration that there is solid political will in Africa for a deeper regional integration agenda, calling on investors to take advantage of these developments and work more closely together.
Rwanda considers visa Exemptions for Commonwealth member states
In his remarks, President Kagame also stated that the Rwandan Government is considering exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophonie, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda.
Next June, Rwanda will host the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM 2020.
“The Commonwealth is a community of values, with continued relevance for today’s world. More than one-third of its member states are African. These are the reasons why Rwanda chose to join in 2009.
“In that connection, we are soon considering exempting citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as the African Union and the Francophonie, from paying visa fees when entering Rwanda,” President Kagame said.
During CHOGM 2020 in Kigali, President Kagame also welcomed that development that the International School for Government at King’s will launch a Commonwealth Civil Service Training Programme.
“This is a very welcome offering, which Rwanda is happy to be associated with,” he said.
President Kagame also took time to share about Rwanda’s transformation over the past 25 years, as the country sought to address its tragic history.
He noted that during the 1995 Genocide against the Tutsi where more than ten per cent of the population was wiped out, and another third was displaced, Africa of which Rwanda is a part was undergoing momentous and often difficult changes, which also affected the country.
“The only way to survive was to make peace with ourselves. And the only way to prosper as a landlocked country was to invest in our people and cooperate economically with our region, He said.
President Kagame added; “Three mindset issues inform everything we have done within that wider context. They are, in brief: Urgency, because everything was a priority; Unity, because division nearly annihilated us, and self-reliance mixed with a global outlook, because we have the ability to solve our own problems, but learning from and collaborating with others makes things go faster and better.
President Kagame added that the progress Rwanda has made is as a result of applying these principles to the challenges the country faced, and involving all citizens in the process ensuring that they benefit from public policy.
“Well-being has both subjective and objective elements. Rwanda’s progress on human development indicators, such as income growth, healthcare, gender equality, and education is matched by independent surveys that ask Rwandans how they feel about the country’s future.
We still have a long way to go but Rwandans are increasingly confident about their lives and they can clearly see the direction our country is headed in, “President Kagame concluded.