Libreville, 23 May 2014

President Kagame today arrived in Libreville, Gabon, to join business and political leaders at the New York Forum Africa 2014. The leaders will engage in intense, collaborative sessions to draw up a road map for individual businesses as well as national policy makers as a guide and spur to action. The New York Forum Africa is organized around a number of major debates that examine the key economic and business issues for Africa today.

President Kagame addressed participants alongside President Bongo and President Catherine Samba-Panza of Central African Republic in the interactive Citizens’ Forum with 500 Gabonese youth. The discussion was based on the results of the “Train My Generation Survey”.

“Where there is a will there is a way, as Rwanda we started with the political will to make sure that we deepen and broaden integration which is the way to go for our continent because it brings countries together, it brings scale in terms of markets or decisions to be made on a wider scale that have implications on development. We had to start from somewhere, we can’t be talking about integration and we are not allowing people to move freely across borders and allowing them to do business freely with each other.”

Other Speakers of the forum include; Laurent Fabius Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, (France), Mark Simmondsm, FCO Minister for Africa (UK), Günter Nooke, and German Chancellor’s G8 Personal Representative for Africa (Germany).

President Kagame also engaged with other leaders on current economic opportunities in Africa, Africa’s place in the World as well as ICT and regional integration, moderated by Richard Attias, a prominent Moroccan businessman and former organizer of the World Economic Forum and co-founder of Clinton Global initiative.

The New York Forum Africa 2014 will focus on transformation: unlocking the competitiveness of the African economy through building value chains around the transformation of the continent’s natural resources, including its human capital.

President Kagame also met with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius on the sidelines of the Forum.

Concerning the meeting, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louis Mushikiwabo said:

“President Kagame held a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on the margin of the New York Africa Forum. They discussed the state of bilateral relations and agreed to step up exchanges and hold more regular consultation at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in order to improve dialogue.

The inaugural New York Forum Africa in 2012 was about recognising Africa’s economic achievements and understanding the opportunities for business and investors. The New York Forum Africa 2013 focused on the hard work needed to make the opportunities a reality, focusing on the six imperatives for African economies to grow (independence, investment, incubation, innovation, infrastructure and inspiration), where participants worked together to create an action plan, and to sign new partnerships between the public and private partnership.

The New York Forum is a New York-based organization founded in 2010 by Richard Attias, and brings together top political and business leaders from around the world.