Africa cannot afford to delegate its own destiny, says Chairman

The Chairman of RPF-Inkotanyi, President Paul Kagame has made a strong case for Africa, saying that the time is now for the continent to own its own destiny to anyone else.

He was speaking at a meeting held under the theme; ‘Shaping Africa’s Agenda in the Global Context’ held on the margins of the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

The meeting was attended by several African Heads of State, among other dignitaries.

According to the Chairman, conditions are ideal for Africa to change the status quo and take lead in shaping her future by bringing to end the dependence on external actors.

These external actors, he said, will benefit more than the peoples of the continent.

“The conditions have never been so favourable for Africa to take the lead in shaping its own global agenda. For too long, we ceded responsibility for Africa’s agenda to others, with some individuals even benefitting,” said the President, who is also the current chairperson of the African Union.

He said that challenges relating to migration, security and climate change among others mean there is no longer any actor who sees an advantage in an Africa that is institutionally weak and economically stagnant.

“Everyone benefits from a stronger, more united Africa. This is reflected in the more constructive tone of Africa’s partnerships with China, Europe and others. But no one is going to transform Africa on our behalf. It is up to us,” he added.

He, however, said that there is notable improvement in the pace and quality of integration through aspects such as African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement as well as the protocol of free movement of people.

Emphasizing on the importance of international cooperation, the Chairman said the African continent also ought to adopt a posture of active responsibility toward shaping its place in the world. 

Other requirements for the way forward, he said include strategic leadership and investment from the private sector particularly in terms of technology and industrialization.

He later took part of a panel session on closing the financing gap alongside Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde; musician and social activist, Bono; Bill McGlashan of TPG Growth and Afsaneh Beschloss of Rockreeck.

The President also participated in a televised discussion on Digitizing Emerging Markets alongside e-commerce Mogul, Jack Ma.

The World Economic Forum brings together over 3,000 participants from over 110 countries. The profile of participants range from Heads of State and Government, heads of multinationals, global opinion shapers, academia and social activists among others.

This year’s summit is themed: Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with a focus on how leaders across sectors and generations can join forces to shape a more inclusive and sustainable global architecture.

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