Kigali, 11 September 2018

President Kagame today delivered a keynote address at the 2018 World Bank Development Forum underway in Kigali. The forum brings together public and private sector leaders from the East African Community and beyond to drill down on what can be done to address some of the biggest challenges to scaling up private investment in regional priority areas, notably, affordable housing, tourism and agribusiness.

Addressing the forum, President Kagame highlighted that the Development Finance Forum is an intensive problem-solving and design workshop whose goal should always be to drive innovation in both public and private sectors in order to jumpstart and scale up business activity in markets such as those are available across the East African Community.

The President pointed out that despite strong prospects, Africa is far from tapping its full potential or even meeting existing demand for affordable, high-quality products. In the global context, President Kagame noted, there is an excess of capital looking for profitable ventures. Yet in Africa, he observed, there is a chronic deficit of large-scale investment funding.

“We still have a long way to go, but the direction of travel is clear, and the necessary partnerships are increasingly in place. Among the most important is Africa’s partnership with the institutions that make up the World Bank Group. For Rwanda, this includes much-appreciated support for our efforts on energy, sustainable urbanisation, agriculture, and social protection. We will continue to do our part to make the relationship as productive and beneficial as possible for our citizens,” President Kagame said.

The Head of State further elaborated on how public-private collaboration has been the driver behind the recent landmark achievement of the African Union – the Continent Free Trade Area. African Union Summits now routinely include business leaders, making a difference to the quality of dialogue.

Themed “unlocking investment opportunities in the East African Community,” the two-day forum connects key stakeholders and clients from the public, private and civil society sectors to raise awareness of the “Maximizing Finance for Development” approach, and the availability of potential sources for support.