Kigali, 14 March 2012
President Kagame has told participants at the Public Sector Development Conference Africa that in Rwanda, like in many other African countries, achieving and sustaining economic development aspirations will depend on the extent to which both domestic and external private sector investments are mobilised. President Kagame was addressing delegates at the opening of the two-day conference which brings together parliamentarians, donors, and representatives of the private sector and civil society.
Pointing out that Rwanda’s recent Household Living Conditions Survey indicates that over the last five years, more than one million citizens have lifted themselves out of poverty, President Kagamesaid that growth in every sector and further reduction in poverty levels will depend on the active participation of the private sector;
“Business creates employment that provides incomes to citizens, which in turn leads to social and economic progress of our nations. I am therefore particularly pleased that this conference brings together the key stakeholders whose collaboration is necessary for the private sector to thrive, and which in turn should lead to the transformation of millions of lives. In Rwanda, we have constructive dialogue between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, investors – as well as civil society and our development partners – with the aim of shaping the policies and regulations that impact business.”
President Kagame called on African nations to strengthen intra-African cooperation and trade to stop being the world’s suppliers of cheap commodities and a vast market dependent on the outside world for most consumption goods.
Emphasising that there is need for hard work in order to be more competitive in attracting the kind of private sector investment that will drive prosperity, President Kagame said:
“We must promote science, technology and research, not only as tools for business but also to nurture innovation necessary for faster economic development. We should rapidly address our infrastructure shortcomings that range from insufficient energy, poor transport networks, to inadequate internet connectivity. As long as these challenges remain, we will not be competitive. It is also important to develop a conducive business culture underpinned by high standards of service.”
President Kagame pointed out that the legislative arm of African governments remains an indispensable partner as they streamline private sector development;
“In my view, parliament has two major roles to support private sector development: One is to develop a modern and appropriate legal and institutional framework that directly meets the interests of business, employees and consumers in a fair, transparent, and timely manner.The other is for legislators to go beyond reacting to realities, and instead be more proactive in projecting future needs and adequately prepare for them.”