Kigali, 15 March 2016
While delivering closing remarks at the inaugural Africa Transformation Forum today, President Kagame highlighted the significance of involving citizens in the process of transformation, pointing out that they bear most of the risk because success comes from what they do every day.
Sharing Rwanda’s experience with the participants, President Kagame said:
“Rwandans are ordinary people, with an extraordinary history. Twenty-two years ago, Rwanda’s very survival was at stake and everything was a priority. We figured it out by doing it, because we had no choice. We had to start with our own resources and ideas. You don’t need to have all the answers, or all the funds, to get started. Constantly assess and correct course, but don’t wait for perfection or rescue.”
President Kagame said Transformational change happens at the level of mindsets and took several processes:
“This contrasts so radically with the African past and present that we rightly speak of the need for “transformation.” It is easy to say, but making it happen is harder. But it can become reality within our lifetimes. if we know where we want to go, and what has to be done to get there, then why do we seem stuck on implementation? A wish list is not a strategy for getting things done. It is a recipe for an infinite loop of conferences and declarations. You and I do not implement the transformation agenda. Everyone does, collectively. Change how people think. Shape how resources are allocated. In the African context, we can grow very old waiting for the invisible hand of the market to work its magic.”
President Kagame pointed out that All Africans want a prosperous, stable, and equitable Africa but submitted that everything has to start with a clear and simple vision for the future that everyone understands and agrees on.
Thanking the organizers of the forum, President Kagame said the focus of the forum mirrors what Rwandans are working to achieve in Rwanda and the wider region.
The two-day inaugural forum was organised by the African Center for Economic Transformation and Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.