Hong Kong, 10 September 2012
President Kagame was today hosted to a luncheon by members of the business community in Hong Kong to discuss the multiple business opportunities Rwanda has to offer. Introducing President Kagame, Marc Holtzman who also sits on the board of directors of the Bank of Kigali referred to Rwanda as a miracle story and described President Kagame as “a man with the vision that transformed Rwanda.”
Holtzman explained that he first learned of Rwanda’s progress when President Kagame addressed the University of Denver during his time as President of the University in 2004. It is then that his vision of Rwanda changed from a nation marked by genocide to one of admirable socio-economic transformation.
View pictures of the story: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/sets/72157631494455486/
President Kagame began his address by inviting all present to be part of Rwanda’s journey. “I invite you to be part of the revival of not only Rwanda but Africa. We want to look at change in the general context of the East African Community to which we belong and of Africa,” President Kagame said.
Members of the business community who were from a variety of fields including the banking, energy and media sector were keen to learn more about Rwanda’s business environment, its educational system and the opportunities for investment in energy.
Vivian Kayitesi, Head of Investment at Rwanda Development Board explained to those present the progress that has led Rwanda to be ranked 3rd in Sub Saharan Africa at the recent World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report and the 8th easiest in doing business globally.
“The Rwanda Development Board is dedicated to fast tracking Rwanda’s economic development by facilitating private sector investment. One of our recent accomplishments includes; decreasing the time required to open a business from 24 hours to 6 hours and procedures to obtain a construction permit from 30 days to 20 days.”
Addressing the question of education, President Kagame explained that the vision responsible for shaping Rwanda’s future, Vision 2020, was largely based on investing in the education of the youth. With youth forming the majority of the Rwandan population, Rwanda has prioritized education and the creation of a capable workforce in the country.
President Kagame concluded by inviting the members of the business community to make the trip to Rwanda to witness the change that Rwandans have brought their nation. “Seeing is believing,” he added.