President Kagame advises African cooperation

On 16 May 2019 at 10:00

President Paul Kagame has urged African countries to work hard to tackle problems impeding cooperation so that they can work directly with each other.

Kagame made the call yesterday on the second day of the 5th edition of Transform Africa 2019 as he featured on the panel with his counterpart of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Kagame said that Africans need to understand their responsibilities to advance technology which is the key to further development programs in Africa.

He revealed that the African continent has attained a lot of achievements like the Single African Air Transport Market inaugurated in February 2018 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to go into effect since 30th May 2019.

He, however, observed that there are issues that need to be addressed carefully.

“If you believe that when flying from Rwanda necessitates going through Poland, Brussels to make it to Bamako. One must keep asking themselves the rationale. We should set up direct lines linking these places or at least go through Nairobi or Addis Ababa to reach Bamako. I can understand that. But why going through Poland, Bruxelles. It is not clear,” said Kagame.

He also brought the situation in the context of telecommunication as the world strives root economic transformation on technology.

“Data is moving like this air transport. When I make a call to the President of Kenya or Mali, I think I am speaking to them directly but the call first had to take my voice to Europe to be inspected. How can we not be talking about these things? Why don’t we create own systems for people on our continent? What is the problem? Why should we skip it as we discuss such issues,” he said

President Kagame explained that some of these issues are technical; others require resources but noted that the essential thing is politics.

“Going through other countries comes with increased costs. We shouldn’t be talking about increasing the cost to our people. We should be thinking of reducing the cost for all these discussed issues. These are things seeming to be disregarded in such discussions,” he said.

“We need to keep upping our game in realizing the need for cooperation. It means working directly with each other and it is just logical. Everything we need for transformation is in this room or represented in this room,” added Kagame.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said Africans should remove all barriers impeding Africa to maximize advantages from technology.

President Kagame unveiled that the Republic of Guinea will be the host of the 6th Transform Africa Summit in 2020.