Keen observers of Rwanda’s affairs suggest the country’s recent relationship with the Arab World is strategic and a wise move for long term development goals and geopolitical interests.
President Paul Kagame believes the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an inspiration for Rwanda due to its historical past.
“Thirty years ago the world didn’t give the UAE a chance, Rwanda is going through the same story today,” Kagame said earlier today from Dubai where he is attending the World Government Summit 2016.
The UAE with population of 10 million and an estimated nominal GDP of $340 billion, has painfully squeezed itself out of the greedy world that is insanely obsessed with oil, of which this Gulf peninsular has abundant of it.
By positioning itself as a major oil exporter, and utilising the versatile resource to build one of the most prosperous and stable economies, the UAE has had to endure some of the most challenging global crises.
For Kagame, such experiences inspire Rwanda.
Indeed, the ideas shared during the summit, thematically packaged as “Shaping Future Governments,” help participating countries to borrow a leaf.
President Kagame, who was on a penal hosted by John Defterios, CNN Emerging Markets Editor-Anchor from the crossroads of East and West, shared Rwanda’s story.
He said Rwanda is where it is today because there was focus to building strong institutions and strong collaboration between government and the citizens.
“I see the success in Rwanda has been solely because of understanding the responsibility of government and role of institutions that have to be in place,” Kagame said.
While some praise Rwanda’s success story, others criticise it. But Kagame said the country has remained steady, and not distracted. “You must be able to believe in what you see, and what you see in Rwanda is progress.”
However, the ingredient for this success, Kagame insisted, is for the government to remain people-centered.
“Nations will fail if governments and the people have not been working together to actually fulfill expectations and aspirations of their people.”
Rwanda’s short-term goal is to improve the GDP further. Move upper capita income from the current $800 to $1400, Kagame said.
Meanwhile, President Kagame, US President Barack Obama, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank Group are among key speakers.
The World Government Summit has become a global forum dedicated to shaping the future of government worldwide.
Every year, the summit sets new agenda in innovation and technology and tackles humanity challenges of the moment.