New York, 27 September 2018
President Kagame today attended the ‘New Africa Dialogue’ organized by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Centre is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to providing strategic insights and policy solutions to help decision makers chart a course toward a better world.
Attended by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and former US Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Dialogue convened a broad range of seasoned diplomats, researchers, and policymakers.
In his address, President Kagame highlighted that the AfCFTA signed in March this year is a historic step meant to transform trade within the African continent while requiring the world to relate to Africa as a single bloc for trade purposes.
“But this agreement should be understood in a wider context. The CFTA heralds a new political reality in Africa. We also signed an agreement on the free movement of people within Africa,” President Kagame said.
The Head of State also spoke about the financing and functioning reforms underway within the African Union.
“The United States initially responded to this obviously positive development by a discussion as to whether this new financial levy violated or contravened World Trade Organisation provisions. We had discussions back and forth, and I think most of the misunderstandings have been found to be inaccurate and therefore done away with,” President Kagame said.
The President pointed out that the confusion served to highlight the need for improved dialogue about how Africa and the United States can better collaborate to enhance each other’s prosperity, and hailed the ‘New Africa Dialogue’ as an effective platform for such efforts.