For the continent of Africa to achieve quality and robust economic recovery, there is the need to open windows of opportunity to investments from different parts of the world instead of pursuing a narrow investment approach. This formed the thought behind President Paul Kagame’s invitation to American investors to participate in economic opportunities as Africa emerges out of the Covid-19 recovery process for mutual benefit.
The President made the call while opening the four-day Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) Leaders Forum. The CCA, which was established in 1993, promotes business and investment between the United States and African countries. Opening the forum, the President said that there are mutually beneficial opportunities emerging as the continent seek to recover and get past the pandemic. Last week, the African Union launched a medical supply platform pooling the procurement of essential health items implemented in partnership with the African private sector.
The initiative is spearheaded by business magnate Strive Masiyiwa at the African Union’s invitation. Kagame noted that there is room for American private sector participation in the initiative. Another aspect that has room for collaboration he said is ensuring adequate fiscal space for Africa which is essential for a sustainable public health response as well as to preserve jobs and livelihoods.
An additional opportunity on the continent is to work together in trade especially with the upcoming launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area. “The US has been a strong supporter of development through trade such as with AGOA, as these internal trade obstacles continue to fall, we look forward to strong engagement from American companies and investors working together with African firms,” Kagame said.
Kagame said that in response to the pandemic and its effects, closer and stronger cooperation between countries and partners will allow for better and stronger response as countries strive to deal with public health challenges, trade and business.”Free trade benefits more from the understanding that we cannot avoid working together if we want to thrive,” he added.
Highlighting Rwanda’s recovery outlook, the Head of State said that the local economy prior to the pandemic was strong, stable and with growth in the medium and long term assured. This, he said, gives the government confidence in investing in the recovery of the economy.
He also noted that the Covid-19 curbing measures such as lockdown, testing, tracing among others had proven to be effective as the country continues to see recoveries. The first case of Covid19 was reported in Rwanda about 100 days ago.
The summit was held under the theme: “Resilient U.S.-Africa business engagement to drive post-Covid-19 recovery”.