President Paul Kagame says Africa can easily mobilize fund for their own projects instead of waiting for the third party which in most cases present their offers with stringent conditions.
In speech officially opening the ongoing Transform Africa summit in Kigali, Kagame said the continent does not have any problem of funds, rather, it is all about how Africans look at things.
“We are not poor, not at all,” said Kagame. “The issue is more the mindset that it is normal to use our money for consumption while we leave strategic long-term investing to others. It means that no matter how much we earn, we would remain poor.”
For Kagame it is up to African leaders “to identify mindsets that hold the continent back and change how the business is done in Africa.”
He believes that technology is the foundation of modern and high-income economies and with that in mind, Africa is investing in physical infrastructures and in education required for using it.
“Similarly we are encouraged that businesses and entrepreneurs are so strongly engaged in these efforts,” Kagame told thousands of delegates.
“Even the most advanced technology cannot compensate for shortcomings in other areas which are essential for economic competitiveness.”
Kagame who is currently the African Union chairperson, is also confident that agreeing to engage technology in the implementation of the free movement of people and goods would transform Africa.
He urged countries to translate its provisions into reality on the ground.
“A favorable investment climate is critical in order to build trust in African economies, attract the right partnerships and spur innovation,” Kagame said adding that many African countries lead in business-friendly reforms, but still need to work hard to attract more and better investments.
“That requires effectively communicating these facts to global markets and our own investors in Africa,” he said.
The president commended efforts of the African Union and the International Telecommunications Union together with the private sector to bring broadband to under-served communities by harmonizing spectrum and standards.
Kagame noted the prominent participation of youth and women in Transform Africa including through the pitching platform – “Face the Gorillas” and the Smart Women Summit due tomorrow.
“Our strategic investments in technology and education will only have their full impact if they are matched by efforts to ensure all sectors of our society can access the benefits,” he said.