Kigali, 25 March 2019

President Kagame today opened the Africa CEO Forum which is running for two days in Kigali, bringing together business and political leaders from around the continent and the world to discuss the transformation of Africa through business.

Speaking on the ratification progress of the CFTA, President Kagame said skepticism that the CFTA may not work should be informed by the fact that CFTA does not solve problems until people make it work.

“We don’t expect to put a mechanism and expect it to work, it needs an effort that people will have to undertake to make it work. Nobody is questioning whether CFTA is the right way to go or whether it is going to give us benefits. It is the only way to go if we want to maximize on the opportunities for the benefit of our continent. But we have to make it work and we know how.”

Appearing on a panel with the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde and leading Chief Executive Officers, President Kagame stated that Political will was everything, because it allowed things that must work to work and that it had to come first.

“This summit does us proud as Africa. There is a lot of knowledge, expertise, and political will in this room. If we work hard at it, all together, Africa will be where we need to be.”

President Kagame observed that Africa has immense, unlimited opportunity and capacity, knowledge and expertise and said that young Africans doing wonderful things for other continents should be doing that at home in Africa.