Friday, September 14, 2012

Rwandan Competitiveness: Kagame Speaks

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has spoken to the World Economic Forum (WEF), making a speech to the congregated global participants yesterday, as Rwanda takes a leap up the rankings on the recent WEF global competitiveness index report to 63rd, out of 140 countries spanning the world.

The report also assessed Rwanda to be the 3rd most competitive country in Sub-Saharan Africa, and placed the country in the top spot at number 1 for the East Africa region.

The WEF is currently hosting its sixth Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, a port city in northern China.  The forum will last for three days, and this year carries the theme of “Creating the Future Economy”.  Over 2,000 participants from 86 countries are in attendance this year.

Speaking to the participants, President Kagame encouraged all developing economies to put in hard work and effort, in order to achieve targeted growth – hard work being the only way to achieve results, he told the congregation.  He spoke of Africa’s power to become a real player in the global economy, stating that many African countries have the potential to become real economic heavyweights, should the required work be put in to growing the various national and regional economies.

Kagame stated: “If Rwanda can do it, I am sure many countries can do it even better if they focus and work hard, and I think it’s not an exaggeration that some of the African countries can make a breakthrough among the top ten countries in the world.”

Turning to how Rwanda has achieved the remarkable growth it has demonstrated over the recent years- and notably how it has shot to such significant rankings in competitiveness reports- Kagame attributed the country’s successes to regional cooperation.  Speaking highly of the East African Community, he told the Forum that countries should be more ready to stand together in solving shared difficulties, and that cooperation in terms of problem solving and infrastructure development is the way to achieve economic growth.  He explained: “Improved infrastructure has served the region well and we also work on the competitiveness of each nation… We have learned to overcome challenges as a region rather than each solving their own problems separately.”

Kagame went on to argue that, for African economies in particular, regulations and strategies need to be put in place to help growth.  He discussed the importance of having a development frame work, and highlighted the pivotal role of national rules and regulations with a view to growing the economy.  He told the Forum: “Business regulations should mean enhancing high standards and quality and also setting the ground to the point that when people come to do business in the first place, they know where to start from…Regulations should promote innovation, entrepreneurship and doing business, not a hindrance or an obstacle to freedom of business operation.”

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