Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is in London, United Kingdom, where he is participating in the UK-Africa Investment Forum 2020.
The President arrived in London with a big entourage. His team includes top government officials and heads of big local companies.
The London summit seeks to bring both Africa and the UK to do business together with “equal share”, according to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who opened the summit on January 19.
The World believes Africa is where the future lies, and being the world’s youngest continent with huge natural resources, everyone wants to pay attention to it in future.
By 2050, analysts say Africa’s net worth will be equal to India and China combined right now.
All these opportunities are what attract world superpowers such as UK to seek talks with African leaders to see how they can jointly work together.
For President Kagame and his delegation, the stay in London meant more than the summit.
Several meetings with the royal family, bilateral talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and round-table discussions with investors are what took most of their time so far.
Kagame’s first day in London started with a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The President later joined a panel on Trade and Investment alongside President Condé of Guinea, President Mutharika of Malawi and Rt Hon Truss, UK Secretary for International Trade.
On the panel, the President gave a lengthy analysis on Africa’s journey to development and said that both Rwanda and Africa are ready to engage in intra-Africa trade.
In March 2018, Rwanda witnessed the historic launch of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in Kigali.
And two years down the road, the commencement of the operationalization of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected in July this year.
“The AfCFTA has become a reality. That means political will on the part of the leaders who came together to put this in place. This came supporting the efforts and quest for regional integration that we have always sought to achieve,” the President said.
At the margins of the summit, President Kagame met and held talks with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.
He also attended a reception hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on behalf of Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.
At the reception, Prince William revealed his love for Africa. “The African continent holds a very special place in my heart,” he said.
The President later joined a breakfast bringing together over 50 investors in various sectors including financial services, energy, infrastructure and tourism.
This was shortly before the President delivered a lecture at the International School for Government at King’s College in London, where he detailed Rwanda’s transformation in a conversation with Alexander Downer – for foreign minister of Australia; Chairman Policy Exchange and Executive Chair of International School for Government, King’s College London.
Asked what has triggered Rwanda’s progress today, the President said it was not a one person’s effort.
“It hasn’t been possible because of one person but all of us. We learned our lesson from this tragic history, the hard way. Everyone came out agreeing we should be trying to find all possible ways to bring our life together,”
“We learned the lesson long ago that you don’t get things done by forcing people. It doesn’t matter what or where. Even if it works, it only works for a short time. You are better off when you bring people together and make them part of the process of finding a solution,” he said.