Today at the fourth Everest Capital Emerging Markets Forum, President Kagame shared Rwanda’s story of economic success during a keynote address to over two hundred capital markets investors gathered to hear of Africa’s increasing economic opportunities. Speaking during the session titled Focus on Africa, President Kagame shared Rwanda’s journey of economic, social and political reconstruction:
“It was a daunting task, but we had to start from somewhere. We had to take on responsibility of rebuilding the country. Even though we benefited from external support, we decided early on to take the lead. We had to take the lead in building the foundation necessary for the country. We knew if we didn’t take ownership, it wasn’t going to last. ”
President Kagame also shared the vision Rwandans continue to build upon:
“Instead of divisive politics, our vision was to bring together the people of the country, for them to value each other. It all starts with the people, we are investing in the education, health, capacity of our people to be able to contribute and participate inclusively to Rwanda’s development. We are building institutions that will be a firm foundation on which the people of Rwanda can build on. We have worked to make sure our economic growth is not just numbers but is inclusive of all Rwandans.”
Echoing President Kagame’s point of the need to focus on the population, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the audience:
“You need leadership in order to do it. These countries have to come together; you have to have institutions and rule of law. You have to fight corruption; people can’t just believe that leaders are benefiting but not the people. It is countries that make population healthy, that educate population and give them skills and empower their women that will succeed. The most important infrastructure is the infrastructure of the people.”
Held once a year for the past four years, the Everest Capital Emergent Markets forum aims to explore investment opportunities in Latin America, Africa and Asia and brings together institutional investors managing some of the world’s largest public and private pension funds, hedge funds and sovereign funds.