Kagame: Indecision Hindering Africa’s Growth

President Kagame speaking at the forum in Kigali on Monday

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has rallied African leaders to grab the available opportunities including integration to spur economic development, medical adding there is no more time to waste.

“If we increase intra-Africa trade we would solve so many problems like reversing the process where our resources go abroad and we buy products at a high price, more about ” said Kagame.

“Integration and trading with each other would ensure that we add value to our resources and avoid this trend,” he emphasised.

Header advertisement

President Kagame was Monday delivering a Keynote Address at The Global Africa Investment Summit, TGAIS, which is taking place in Rwanda, the first time the Summit is taking place in Africa.

The Summit brings together high ranking government officials and business leaders from around the world.

Present at the Summit also was Ugandan leader, Yoweri Museveni.

Kagame urged Africans against taking time to put words into action, saying good momentum and tangible results will do more to increase support for integration than any amount of closed-door negotiation among technical experts.

“Africa cannot just remain a story, about huge potential that never materialises. Something has to give. Postponing our priorities, and delaying our commitments are the most expensive mistakes that Africa can make,” said Kagame.

By fostering regional integration, Asia was able to create regional value chains and thus become more efficient.

This in turn enabled the region to become a key player in global value chains, which today increasingly characterize world trade (close to 30 percent of world trade is undertaken through cross border value chains, which is also the average for developing Asia).

Yet, Africa’s history of trade integration is fraught with difficulties and setbacks. Despite numerous commitments to create integration zones, the continent continues to register the lowest percentage of trade within the region worldwide – a mere 12 percent cent of total exports take place within Africa, compared with 25 percent in ASEAN and over 60 percent in the European Union (WEF-2013 statistics).

This is largely a result of a mix of trade policies that have been heavily focused on gaining access to developed economies and regional integration efforts that were not fully implemented.

Kagame said, “There is nothing we are waiting for, and nothing we lack. Let’s work together across sectors and borders, with the right mindset of urgency, and build the Africa we want.”

He said Africa does not need to dwell too much on reminders that investment and good governance are critically important, and that integration is profoundly in Africa’s interest.

“We know it, we believe in it. What remains is just to be doing what is necessary to make it reality,” he assured.

President Museveni said Africans have had lots of lost opportunities but that now was the time for them to take integration of small markets seriously.


Header advertisement
To Top