Africa’s Invitation to Investors

President Paul Kagame, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, yesterday, told delegates that there is lots of opportunity for investment in Africa.

The President was speaking at a session themed: ‘Africa’s Future Economy’ which focused on the role that new investment partnerships are playing in shaping the future economy of Africa.

“What is happening in Africa leaves us with an impression that a lot still has to be done…today Africa gets 2.8% of worldwide investment. Africa can do more and needs to do more,” Kagame said.

In the quest to attract investments, African countries are looking at partners in the West, East, South as well as from within the continent.

“We have to look at both traditional partners as well as emerging partners. New partnerships provide broader opportunities but we are not trading one for the other. We learn lessons from different models and adapt them to our own situation,” Kagame said, warning against the perception that cooperation with one partner should replace old partnerships.

The Head of State went on to call on African countries to own their development, stating that if Africa is not able to tell its own stories, someone will tell Africa’s story and tell it the wrong way.

During the Forum, a special session on Rwanda was hosted by its Minister of Finance, John Rwangombwa and Acting CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi.

The session that provided an in-depth perspective on Rwanda’s economy and investment opportunities was attended by potential global investors drawn from various sectors, including education, ICT, energy and tourism.

Many of those present expressed their commitment to making Rwanda their next investment destination.

“We are interested in investing in solar energy, tourism resorts and the ICT Park. I look forward to visiting the beautiful city of Kigali and to taking forward new projects for Rwanda,” Mr. S.P. Shukla, President of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd said.

Urging the private sector to be part of the change, founder and managing director of Mara Group Ashish Thakkar told delegates that: “It shouldn’t just be about corporate social responsibility initiatives.”

“Your entire business process must be geared towards the improvement of society…if leaders in business don’t lead by example and show that they need to play an active role in society, who will?”