Addis Ababa, 9 February 2019

President Kagame and serving Chairperson of the African Union today arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he is expected to attend the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Ahead of the Summit, President Kagame this afternoon chaired the launch of a new initiative aimed at increasing commitments for health and accelerating the path towards Universal Healthcare Coverage. The event, dubbed ‘Africa Leadership Meeting: Investing in Health’, brings together African Heads of State and Government, business leaders, and global health organizations to devise ways to help deliver increased, sustained and more impactful financing for health across Africa.

Keynote speakers at the event included Heads of State from across the continent, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, and American business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates.

In Rwanda, the total expenditure in Health has increased from 6.7% of the National Budget in 2015 to 17% in 2018/19. More than 90% of Rwandans are covered by health insurances and out of pocket expenditures account for only 8%.

Speaking at the event, President Kagame highlighted that investing in the health of Africans has already had transformative effects on the people of our continent.

“Governments should surely be willing and able to increase domestic investment in healthcare. A good indicator of this is the progress we have made toward securing the financial health of the African Union and mobilizing our own resources for joint priorities, such as the Peace Fund. We should be the first ones to contribute to efforts that directly benefit our people. We are entering a period where most of the special health financing vehicles must replenish their resources. This creates the necessity—or rather the opportunity— for Africa to increase its ownership of the process. Together we can set an even more ambitious agenda for the next phase,” President Kagame said.

In the evening, the President joined other Heads of State and Government in Gala Dinner hosted by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in honor of Heads of State and Government attending the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.

Tomorrow, Sunday, 10 February 2019, President Kagame will attend the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union. This will mark the end of President Kagame’s one-year Chairmanship of the Union. Progress attained during his tenure includes long-standing African Union objectives such as CFTA, Free Movement, common African passport, Peace Fund, and managing Africa’s global partnerships. These initiatives reflect the commitment and aspiration of Africa’s leaders and citizens. President Kagame will continue serving as a member of the troika, which includes the current chair – President Abdel Fattal el-Sisi as well as the next chair. The President will also continue to lead the AU reform process as entrusted to him by the African Heads of State during the AU Summit in Kigali in 2016.