Kagame lured investors today in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he joined other Heads of State including the President of South Africa, Ghana, Mozambique Prime Minister among others for a panel discussion on Investing in Africa at the second edition of Africa Investment Forum.
Organized by the African Development Bank and its partners, the second edition of the Forum runs from 11th to 13th November 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace is aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to a bankable stage and accelerating financial closure of deals.
Kagame said that present opportunities are ideal for Africa to foster development.
“I have always thought it is Africa’s time, we Africans we have let ourselves down. We are now realizing it is Africa’s time and we need to seize every opportunity to be where we should be,” he said.
Kagame also thanked President Cyril Ramaphosa for providing a good environment to be discussing these issues and the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
He explained that Rwanda has concentrated on creating a good environment for people to do business, a predictable governance system, security, in a region of East African Community ‘that is probably the fastest growing region on our continent and Rwanda being part of and benefiting from that’.
Talking on investment opportunities in Rwanda; the President said: “We have created a number of things: Agri-business hub, between 15-20,000 hectares we are trying to put under irrigation and partner with private sector in agribusiness for exports.”
The President presented Kigali Innovation City, where technology companies and higher institutions of learning come together with financial services to allow Startup Company to develop and grow and encouraged private investors to maximize opportunities from it.
“We expect private capital to come in and grow that,” he said.
Kigali Innovation City is a huge project expected to help Rwanda advance technology. It is being developed in the Special Economic Zone in Gasabo district and expected to be completed at a cost of US$ 2 billion.
KIC features an innovation and knowledge hub consisting of world-class learning institutions and tech companies with room for additional firms.
The project also has a component of Rwanda Innovation Fund, a privately managed $100 million fund for the development of world-class technologies with the private sector invited to join in.
It will also be a hub for international universities, tech companies with solutions in agriculture, health, financial sector and provide a contribution to infrastructure development. The project will be spread on 70 hectares parcel.
“Kigali Innovation Fund, created with the support of the AfDB, Government has put in money. We want private people to come and invest as well,” enthused Kagame.
Talking on what Africa needs to do to attract investment, the President said: “There is nothing new that we don’t know we have to deal with. The main difference will come when in one place or another, they are actually doing what they know they ought to. It does not just know what you ought to do or being capable of it, it is about actually doing it,”
He further called for women’s involvement.
“Let’s do what we know we have to do, let’s involve our women, we see many who are CEOs, there are many who are capable so we should not leave them behind. We should have an accountable transparent system of governance, create rule of law, for people to know what to expect,” noted Kagame.
African Investment Forum to be concluded on 13th November 2019 brings together 2000 participants.