Rwanda

Kagame: Instability Threatening Africa’s Growth

viagra buy http://crewftlbr.org/wp-admin/includes/nav-menu.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>Africa is grappling with political turmoil in South Sudan, diagnosis Central Africa Republic, cost Somalia, Libya, Egypt and Nigeria, with thousands of lives and property worth billions of dollars destroyed.


Speaking Thursday at the formal opening of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meetings for 2014 in Kigali, Rwanda, Kagame said, “a number of difficult situations around the continent today remind us that progress can always be reversed.”


He said Africa must be “reminded that together we may rise or together we may fall. We are responsible for ourselves. But we are also, to some extent, responsible for each other.”


Kagame observed that instability in any part of Africa affects the entire continent.


“That is why we have seen increased engagement by African leaders, the African Union, and regional organisations in peace and security matters on the continent,” said Kagame, adding, “Further progress depends on Africa’s ability to work together and with other partners on meaningful mechanisms to resolve conflicts. It also calls for continued strengthening of our respective internal systems to prevent conflicts in the first place.”

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The conference was attended by Presidents Abdelaziz (Mauritania), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon), Deputy Kenya President William Ruto, former Heads of State Benjamin Mkapa and Festus Mogae and Chair of the African Union Commission, Dr Dlamini Zuma.


Others included governors and Directors of the AfDB Board and President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka.


Kagame warned that Africa cannot afford to sit back and take the future of the continent for granted.


“Yes, Africa is rising. But it is not enough to exceed the low expectations that others had of us, and which we, at times, even came to have about ourselves. To give our citizens, especially young Africans, the lives they dream of, we have a lot higher to climb,” he said.


“We know what needs to be done. Our countries have smart policies that we have seen work elsewhere in the world. But the kind of rapid progress we all want will only be achieved by sound implementation.


In particular, taking Africa’s development to the next level will require a much bigger role for the private sector which generates jobs and more wealth.”


Reconstruction


Kaberuka said AfDB remains “a committed friend in this quest for reconstruction and transformation of Rwanda, of this Region and Africa at large.”


On the conflicts in South Sudan and Central African Republic, Kaberuka applauded the AU and Regional Organisations for what they are doing to find ways, to overcome the crisis and pick up the pieces.


“We, ourselves, had opened up offices in Bangui and Juba and were already at work to help these two countries overcome the many obstacles they face. For now, we have had to close and evacuate our staff, but we remain fully committed once security is restored,” he added.


He also outlined the main points in financial institution’s Ten Year Strategy which include infrastructure and logistics, and in particular power, value chains, integration, natural resource husbandry and the need to avoid premature Dutch disease and private sector.


“I recall, in particular, the focus on ensuring equity, social justice and social mobility. That policy of inclusion, “leaving no one behind”, is not only right, socially, politically, but an economic imperative, to expand Africa’s growing consumer power,” he added.


Resilience


Kaberuka agreed that much of Africa has been and remains resilient.


“Much of Sub-Saharan Africa will grow at above 6 percent, investments flows are up. In fact FDI is now inching close to 80 billion dollars. While structural problems persist, our continent continues to defy pessimists tempted to write premature obituaries. But, Africa cannot be an island. Decoupling is not possible in today’s world. There are many things we should do towards not simply growth, but transformation to consolidate our achievements, to minimize our vulnerability to exogenous shocks,” said the AfDB boss.


“Fundamental to all this: is macroeconomic discipline. We must continue to rebuild buffers against external shocks, against unforeseen events. Of late we have seen a succession of weakening currencies, growing fiscal and current account deficits, creeping debt, weaker commodity prices, effects of tapering and slower growth in large emerging markets, have raised concerns.”


Museveni speaks out


On his part, Museveni said governments must facilitate energy, security and infrastructure as linkage between a producer and consumer to boost investments and economic growth.


He also warned the public service sectors against demands for higher pay at the expense of constructing durable road networks and industries that create employment opportunities and drive growth.


“Market integration is very important,” said Museveni, adding, “We need African and external markets to stimulate growth of enterprises.”


Ruto said steps have been taken to enhance easy mobility of goods and services in East Africa through the tripartite arrangements between regional leaders.


It now takes 7 days to transport goods from Mombasa port to Kigali, said Ruto. Due to non-tariff barriers, such a trip would last 22 days.


Kagame said without a doubt, Africa has made progress over the last half a century.


“For most of our countries the road has been uneven and we have sometimes stumbled or stalled. But we have forged ahead. Across the continent, there is a renewed sense of optimism that gives meaning to the now familiar phrase of “Africa Rising”. Evidence points to sustained economic growth for the coming decades. This upward curve is the result of deliberate action by African countries,” said the President.


“Throughout the continent, we are starting to see the positive effects of improved governance and better integration in the global economy thanks to different technologies amongst them ICT. We also have opportunities in a growing middle class and a youth bulge. Africa is one of the few places in the world that has a lot of room to grow – more businesses are taking notice globally.”

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