President Paul Kagame addressing African Transformation Forum
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has told Africans never to be worried about aid decline but to bear in mind that aid will not be there eternally.
The president was speaking at the inaugural African Transformation Forum that was concluded in Kigali today.
It is an Africa’s only forum devoted solely to transformation strategies and implementation challenges. Rwanda launched the forum in partnership with African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET).
The president agrees that aid helped tackle a number of issues in Africa.
President Kagame in a photo with the African Centre for Economic Transformation team led by Dr YK Amoako (3rd L) and other officials in Kigali yesterday.
He said, “Aid has been very helpful because it addressed many problems, and helped many needy people, who by the way are also a product of bad aid investment, with the numbers of people who need aid increasing.”
That aid is declining, should not be a worry as per the president, but one should be worried about how it was being spent.
“If anyone thought it (aid) would be there forever, we see it will not,” he said.
For this reason, Africans should work hard to be self-sustainable and the president shared a number of tips how to do it.
The private sector should not wait for government to directly implement important projects. It should take the business lead while the responsibility of the government should be to provide for conducive economic incentives.
Moreover, Africans have to appreciate their own products. He said otherwise, “We will never win by discounting the quality of our own products and our people.”
Along the way, naturally some failures will be registered, but this should not be a reason to give up.
“It serves a purpose if helps to discover the most effective approach more quickly, and builds public understanding and unity of purpose,” he said.
Participants who include businessmen, members of the civil society, ministers and other officials from government institutions agreed upon creation of “coalition for transformation” among African countries.
DR AY Amoako, the ACET president said this coalition consists of chapters such as skills development, agricultural, financial inclusion, trade manufacturing, etc.
He said, “Transformation is a paradigm shift, therefore we need to take action.”.
From now on, every year Africa Transformation forum will convene friends and partners in government, business, civil society, and the donor community in a peer-to-peer exchange of ideas on transformation pathways and on the actions to secure them.