President Kagame on Tuesday spoke at the inaugural Wall Street Journal Conference on Investing in Africa, organized in London to discuss technology, transition and growth, to an audience of leading investors, executives and government officials convened to discuss how technology is driving change and investment in Africa, and to examine the economic and political landscape.
Answering a question concerning what Africa expected from US President Trump’s administration, Kagame replied that since it seemed that Americans are still figuring out their new President, it would take Africans much longer to understand what to expect from the new US administration.
“Even before this, there has never been a clear US-Africa policy,” he said. “Our interest is not to have people to do things for Africa but with Africa. It would be too early to judge President Trump’s administration now but probably something good might come out for us because it is not babysitting we want. Maybe Africans might be pushed to learn a few lessons and do what they should have started long ago, which is to start working towards self-reliance.”
The President observed that people should realise that working together actually leads to people fulfilling their interests, as opposed to one entity assuming they are doing the other a favour.
On Rwanda’s secret to rapid growth, Kagame said the said the keyword is putting the people of Rwanda at the centre of everything, implementing policies to fit their needs and desires.
He also took questions from the audience regarding regional integration, regional security and investment in the youth.
The one-day conference featured one-on-one interviews, panel discussions and themed lunch table discussions, all hosted by the WSJ’s editors, who drew on their knowledge of influential leaders to explore key challenges and opportunities in Africa.
Other participants featured included Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya; Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank; Mo Ibrahim, chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Uche Orji,Managing, director and CEO of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority; Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom; Jay Ireland, president and CEO of GE Africa; and Alon Lits, general manager of Uber Sub-Saharan Africa.
The conference was moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief Gerard Baker, and EMEA editor Thorold Barker.