Africa, Europe are not threats to each other – Kagame

Africa, Europe are not threats to each other – Kagame

African and European countries should work together to foster domestic and global development instead of looking at each other as threats, President Paul Kagame said yesterday in Brussels, Belgium, during the opening ceremony of the European Development Days (EDD) summit.

Organised by the European Commission, EDD  brings together the global development community to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Kagame called for more cooperation and mutual respect between Europe and Africa, urging leaders on both sides to work together to address global development challenges such as migration.

“Yet one can safely say, if very uncomfortably, that the migration crisis is a consequence of policies that have not worked well for a long time, if at all. Compromising stability by seeking to impose one’s values on others will always have adverse outcomes for everyone involved,” he added.

Kagame called for the kind of conversation that highlights the benefits Europe and Africa stand to gain through true partnership.

Thousands of development actors from around the globe gathered in Brussels yesterday – and today – have held discussions about how to invest in inclusive development with a focus on strengthening global partnerships to promote private sector development, gender equality, and youth empowerment.

Empowering youth, women

Kagame said the focus of the meeting was relevant to the current world challenges, describing the strengthening of the private sector and empowering youth and women as a key prerequisite for sustainable development.

After describing how Rwanda has been investing heavily in empowering members of the private sector as well as women and youth, the President also thanked the European Union for its support to Rwanda’s progress.

The opening ceremony of the EDD was also marked by the signing of the “New European Consensus on Development,” a blueprint aimed at setting the vision for European development.

The President attended the EDD meeting at the invitation of the President of the European Union Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, and is expected to meet Belgian Premier Charles Michel on the sidelines of the meeting as well as thousands of Rwandans during ‘Rwanda Day,’ scheduled for this weekend in Brussels.