Kagame made the appreciation today in Yokohama in Tokyo city of Japan at the opening of the 7th edition of TICAD.
Launched in 1993, the summit follows the last one held in Kenya in 2016.
TICAD is a conference held regularly with the objective of promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.
Japan is a co-host of these conferences. Other co-organizers of TICAD are the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSSA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The summit for this edition discusses on fast-tracking African development through sustainably building citizens’ capacities, advancing digital skills and creating innovations.
As he attended the opening ceremony of the summit along with other Heads of State from Japan and Africa, President Kagame lauded achievements and vision of TICAD that continuously made Japan an effective and dependable partner of the African continent.
The President highlighted that TICAD was born at a moment of uncertainty about the continent’s future that the spirit of optimism and partnership could not be taken for granted.
Reflecting on achievements of the summit, Kagame said that many of TICAD’s innovations have become standard and the forum has continued to evolve in tandem with Africa’s priorities where the key change is the importance given to the private sector.
This inspired Rwanda has put private sector development at the heart of strategy for prosperity to realize sustainable development.
“Rwanda has put private sector development at the heart of our strategy for prosperity, using three types of investment. First, governance. Rwanda has made good use of the World Bank’s Doing Business tools to overhaul the enabling environment for enterprise,” stressed Kagame.
In tandem with facilitating business, Kagame said ‘We established specialized commercial courts and worked with neighbors for deeper integration to facilitate trade in the East African Community region.”
Rwanda also expanded investment in infrastructure and technology. Kagame pointed out an example of an innovative public-private partnership supplies wholesale broadband data to power the digitalization of our economy which went hand in hand with high investment in high-quality convention and tourism facilities.
“Third, and most importantly, we invest in people. Producing ‘Made in Rwanda’ and ‘Made in Africa’ products require skilled young people who are in good health,” he said.
“We have also expanded technical and vocational training with an emphasis on digital skills, as well as funding support for innovation and entrepreneurship,” added Kagame.
Japan is a great development partner of Rwanda. It has donated approximately US$ 350 million funding to Rwanda from 2008 to 2017 through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
President Kagame appreciated that partnership especially investment from Japan companies.
“We have seen an increase in Japanese investment in recent years, especially in horticulture, agribusiness, and technology. We appreciate the exchange with Japanese firms, and measures are in place to facilitate new ventures, particularly public-private partnerships for infrastructure and industry,” he said.
The partnership bore fruits and led to the provision of safe water to 131,000 Eastern Province residents, the establishment of FabLab which led to the creation of 62 new companies. Among others, 280 volunteers participated in different activities in Rwanda while electricity was expanding to 195,000 citizens, 65 administrative offices and 9 health centers.
Construction of Rusumo one-stop border post, 145 km road connecting Rwanda and neighbors are among other fruits of the partnership additional to 1165 Rwandans who acquired knowledge from Japan and trained 63,563 teachers.