Today morning at Urugwiro Village, President Kagame received Mr. Jack Ma, C.E.O of ALIBABA group, who is the country to participate in the YouthConnekt Africa Summit as a UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) Special Advisor. He was accompanied by Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi (UNCTAD Secretary General) and a delegation of Chinese Businessmen.

Later that afternoon, H.E President Kagame gave a key note address and participated in a panel conversation with Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi and Mr. Jack Ma under the theme “Expanding Opportunities for Youth in Africa”. The Government of Rwanda is hosting the inaugural YouthConnekt Africa Summit to initiate the rollout of the program across the continent in partnership with UNCTAD and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

During his address, President Kagame thanked those who supported the Government of Rwanda’s in organising YouthConnekt, mainly the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He also welcomed Jack Ma and his delegation on their first time in Africa.

Addressing the young Africans present in the room on the challenge of sustaining progress achieved on the continent, President Kagame said: ” That task will fall to you, the young people of Africa, who grew up in more favourable conditions than perhaps your parents did.

Your role begins with reminding us that what has been achieved, as meaningful and difficult as it was, is still not enough. We still have to aim higher and go farther. We have a few things going for us, however. Africa has a lot of value to offer, beginning with our people, and you the youth.”

He added: ” Whatever we want as Africans for our continent, we will have to fight for it. Africa’s prosperity will be built through patient work and commitment, by us, ourselves ”

YouthConnekt is an initiative launched in 2012 by the Government of Rwanda with UNDP, which was scaled up in 2016 when 14 countries in Africa expressed interest to be part of it.  YouthConnekt Africa is designed to realize Africa’s demographic dividend through raising awareness on issues related to youth development, engaging youth in national policy, leadership and involve them in delivering SDGs. This year’s summit hosted around 3,000 from 19th to 21st July 2017 in Kigali Convention Center.