Kigali, 8 May 2018
President Kagame today officially opened the fourth Transform Africa Summit, an annual continental forum that convenes global and regional leaders from government, business and international organizations to collaborate on new ways of shaping, accelerating and sustaining Africa’s on-going digital revolution.
In his opening address, President Kagame stated that Africans must work harder to ensure that African private capital is mobilised to participate fully in major projects on the continent.
“There is this myth that we always have to look outside the continent to fund major initiatives. But this simply cannot be true when Africa is losing billions every year through lost taxes, sending private assets abroad, and other factors. We are not poor, not at all. The issue has more to do with the mindset, that it is normal to use our money for consumption, while we leave strategic, long-term investing to others. It means that no matter how much we earn, we would remain poor. Whether this comes from colonialism or not, is irrelevant. It is up to us to identify mindsets that hold us back as a continent, and change how we do business.”
President Kagame commended the prominent participation of youth and women in Transform Africa, including through the pitching platform “Face the Gorillas”, and the Smart Women Summit, observing that strategic investments in technology and education would only have their full impact if they are matched by efforts to ensure all sectors of the society can access the benefits.