Maputo, 25 October 2016
President Paul Kagame today addressed members of the academic and Business society in Maputo, at the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Center.
The event brought together members of Mozambican business and private sector leaders for a discussion on the role of the private sector in Rwandas’ development.
President Kagame began by thanking his counterpart, President Filipe Nyusi, also present at the discussion, for the continued hospitality shown during the two day visit, drawing emphasis on the importance of their joint collaborative efforts.
“I am happy for the opportunity to deepen the friendship between Rwanda and Mozambique in areas of mutual interest. Today’s discussion reflects the willingness to share and learn from each other, our two countries share a history and a common determination to build a prosperous future for our citizens.”
Speaking to the assembly, President Kagame highlighted the country’s progress as a result of Rwandans’ motivation to change their history and the importance of citizen participation as essential for sustainable development.
“We mobilized all Rwandans to participate in building a new society completely different from what we had known before. The depth of devastation that Rwanda experienced in 1994 led many to believe that our country would never be viable again, but we defined our priorities and stuck to them. As we continue to advance, we know that we are not yet where we want to be, and the modest achievements we register, must be safeguarded.”
Speaking on the importance of private and public partnerships, President Kagame emphasized that the private sector must play a key role, alongside government in order to ensure mutually beneficial partnerships, aimed at promoting social and economic prosperity.
Adding that with Rwanda’s case in particular, despite the criticism faced, sacrifices needed to be taken in order to attract the kind of investment Rwanda registers today.
“These decisions were made despite the objections of partners and bankers, who did not see a business case. And maybe traditional, that’s how it should be seen. But we saw it differently and learned important lessons. The naysayers were right in a narrow commercial sense but completely wrong in a broader view of Rwanda’s context and economic future.”
President Kagame concluded his remarks by reminding the audience of the importance of unity among Africans states in order to achieve continental growth.
“We have always believed in the importance of integration, both economic and political, with partner states in our region and across Africa. Our visit here is in keeping with Rwanda and Mozambique’s shared commitment to go beyond national interests to continental unity, to bring African countries and people together.”
Earlier in the day, President Kagame visited the Mozambique Memorial Heroes Square to pay his respects to the heroic figures of the Mozambican War of Independence.