Davos, 23 January 2014
President Kagame today addressed an event titled “Germany meets Africa” at the World Economic Forum. The event aimed at strengthening mutually beneficial relations between Germany and Rwanda was attended by President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia as well leaders in the German public and private sector.
President Kagame shared Rwanda’s story with those present emphasizing Rwandans determination to transform their nation:
“Twenty years ago,the country sunk so low it hit the bottom. We couldn’t go lower and we couldn’t stay at the bottom. The only way was up.”
Speaking on Africa’s economy, President Kagame shared his belief that Africa is headed for continued progress:
“Each individual country in Africa is reforming. We are working to create the better future Africans deserve and leave the image we have come to be known for behind us. The belief in Rwanda is that there are no insurmountable challenges. With hard work we can succeed together as a continent.”
President Kagame urged the investors to move away from the belief that Africa is a charity case:
“We need to change the percetion that Africa is a place where people go to help, do good and sympathize. This will only change if both sides do the right thing to make sure that everyone is a winner.”
President Kagame added that investing in Africa leads to gains that go beyond monetary profits:
“The return on investments made in Africa is not just good in terms of numbers. You make an impact on the ground and change people’s lives. In the near future we see Africa standing on its own feet and taking its rightful place.”
Introducing President Kagame, former Chief Executive of Barclays Bob Diamond described Rwanda as an example of nation building through education, technology and business friendly environment:
“Rwanda is an example of rebuilding a country into one that is successful for the benefit of its citizens.”
Philipp Missfelder, a member of German Bundestag recognized the role of Rwanda’s history in shaping the nation:
“We should never forget what you did 20 years ago to end the Genocide and your efforts for the reconciliation efforts in Rwanda.”
Addressing the argument that Africa represents a risky investment, President Kagame added that the reason for some of the risk associated with Africa is because the right investments have not been made over the years.
“With the right investments and by working together, we can make sure the risks are minimized and the benefits help address issues where they exist on our continent.”