Good morning, and allow me to welcome you once again on behalf of the Government and people of Rwanda.

Rwanda is greatly honoured to serve as host of the first Global Gender Summit to take place in Africa.

I commend Dr Adesina and the African Development Bank for spearheading this conference, working with the other multilateral development banks who are part of this effort.

I also wish to congratulate the Bank for its important work on closing the multi-billion dollar credit gap for women-led enterprises in Africa. The launch of the innovative AFAWA Risk Sharing Facility will be a highlight of this meeting’s outcomes.

The fight for gender equality is really common sense. Women are our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. A big part of which has been said by Dr Adesina. Whenever women gain, everybody gains and nobody loses.

Indeed, let’s remember that this is a Gender Summit. That means all of us are concerned, not just half of us. Being a man in a position of leadership at any level means never having to think about your gender. But being a woman leader means always having to think about how gender impacts your work.

I think it is past time for men to become much more conscious of gender, so that women can afford to enjoy the same freedom to just get on with business that men take for granted.

As was mentioned, today marks the start of the annual Sixteen Days of Activism campaign. Let’s make them count.

This Summit is now open. Once again, you are most welcome. I wish you a productive meeting and I thank you for your kind attention.