Davos, 23 January 2015
President Kagame today joined a panel titled Tackling Climate, Development and Growth.
The panel moderated by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and included Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Jim Yong Kim, President of The World Bank; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unileverand Michael Spence, Professor in Economics and Business, NYU Stern School of Business.
Speaking on the actions needed to address challenges of climate change as well as development and growth, President Kagame emphasized the importance of achieving development while preserving the environment:
“We are not making a choice between environment and prosperity. We are rather looking at how to combine both because one supports the other.”
President Kagame called on actors to respond to the challenges with action rather than words:
“The issue has not been how; the issue has always been whether. People know how. If you are leaders in government or business, the issue of how you involve people is known. The failure is in not doing it, not because we don’t know it but just because we don’t do it. We should not allow political deadlock to stand in the way of cooperation of nations and organisations.”
Described by moderator Christine Lagarde as a leader who has done more than any other leader to include women, President Kagame shared Rwanda’s approach to inclusive leadership:
“The fact of involving women speaks to involving the population. We are not just singling out women. We start by saying everyone must be involved, among them there are women who for historical and many reasons have been disadvantaged and have not been given their right. We had to correct that and make sure that women have their rightful place. When you involve people, you stand a better chance of succeeding.”
President Kagame ended the day with a dinner discussion on “Reimagining Africa’s Future” led by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International; Patrick Awuah, Founder and President of Ashesi University College and Koos Bekker, Chairman of Naspers. The participants included President Alpha Conde of Guinea; President Ibrahim Boubakar Keita of Mali; Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank and Ashish Thakkar of Mara Group.
For pictures of President Kagame’s participation at the World Economic Forum visit www.flickr.com/paulkagame