Los Angeles, 28 April, 2014
President Kagame joined leaders in the private and public sectors for the first day of the Milken Institute Global Conference held in Los Angeles.
Addressing over one thousand people, President Kagame joined the panel titled “Where does growth come from” alongside Tony Blair, Willem Buiter, Global Chief Economist, Citi, Scott Minerd, Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners and Osamu Nagayama, Chairman and CEO, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Chairman, Sony Corporation. President Kagame highlighted the growth of intra-Africa trade and encouraged the audience to invest in Africa:
“Africa’s growth is in the long term. An investment in Africa is a situation with enormous potential. Both people and investors would benefit. The message is simple. Time is now; Africa is ready for investments in different areas.”
President Kagame also shared his personal experience during Rwanda’s liberation struggle with the audience:
“I was involved daily in combat and I was never sure whether I would survive the next day. But we did what was humanely possible to make sure that we carry out the duty we had to do to win and establish a normal situation in Rwanda.”
In a session discussing Africa’s energy, President Kagame emphasized the need for increased partnerships between public and private sector:
“Our challenges have opportunities. Africa has potential to provide 12% of hydro power energy to the world but things will not work unless governments feel that it is their responsibility. Government cannot sit back and expect private sector to provide energy. Government and private sector must work together to unlock our potential”.
On the first day of the conference, President Kagame attended a private investors roundtable discussion alongside Tony Blair, Seth Merrin as well as Mahendra Siregar, Chairman, The Investment Coordinating Board of the Republic of Indonesia and Luis Carlos Villegas, Ambassador of Colombia to the U.S, the session focused on foreign direct investment in Rwanda, Indonesia and Colombia. The participants exchanged strategies related to foreign direct investment, quality governance, the role of multinationals and supply chain management, the development and integration of capital markets, trade and financial regulation, and regional infrastructure development and financing.
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, the Milken Institute believes in the power of capital markets to solve urgent social and economic challenges and improve lives. The mission of the Institute is to “improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital and enhance health.”