Tianjin, 12 September 2012

President Kagame who is attending the World Economic Forum for the second day, today attended a session on Rwanda hosted by Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa and Acting CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi.

Participants at the session that provided an in-depth perspective on Rwanda’s economy and investment opportunities was attended by potential global investors drawn from various sectors, including education, ICT, energy and tourism. Many of those present expressed their commitment to making Rwanda their next investment destination.

“We are interested in investing in solar energy, tourism resorts and the ICT Park. I look forward to visiting the beautiful city of Kigali and to taking forward new projects for Rwanda,” Mr. S.P. Shukla, President of Mahinda and Mahindra Ltd said.

View pictures of the story: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/sets/72157631518078304/

The session was followed by President Kagame’s panel themed: ‘Africa’s Future Economy’ which focused on the role that new investment partnerships are playing in shaping the future economy of Africa.

Kevin Lu, the Regional Director of Asia Pacific World Bank group began by reminding the audience that to date, China has overtaken the World Bank as the largest contributor to Africa before inviting President Kagame to make his opening remarks on the significance of the China-Africa relationship.

President Kagame said:

“What is happening in Africa leaves us with an impression that a lot still has to be done…today Africa gets 2.8% of worldwide investment. Africa can do more and needs to do more.”

President Kagame also expressed the need for African nations to own their development, stating that If Africa is not able to tell its own stories, someone will tell Africa’s story and tell it the wrong way.

President Kagame also warned against the perception that cooperation with one partner should replace old partnerships:

“We have to look at both traditional partners as well as emerging partners. New partnerships provide broader opportunities but we are not trading one for the other. We learn lessons from different models and adapt them to our own situation.”

Citing the example of Sierra Leone which contributes 5% of the world’s diamonds and Mali with its sizable arable land, panelist Patrice Motsepe pointed to the need for African leaders to “to tap on Africa’s resources to finance growth rather than conflicts.”

Urging the private sector to be part of the change, founder and managing director of Mara Group Ashish Thakkar added that:

“It shouldn’t just be about corporate social responsibility initiatives. Your entire business process must be geared towards the improvement of society…if leaders in business don’t lead by example and show that they need to play an active role in society, who will?”