Kagame calls for more inclusion of youth in governance matters
President Paul Kagame has said that good governance has a role and responsibility to ensure that young Africans have a real stake in a bright future on their continent.
Kagame was speaking in Dubai, United Arab Emirates while delivering a keynote address at the seventh World Government Summit.
The annual summit is dedicated to shaping the future of governments worldwide with a focus on how they can harness innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity.
The head of state said that governance must primarily focus on equipping the youth with the requisite skills to compete and succeed globally.
“We want young Rwandans and their peers across Africa to remain connected to their countries and each other. We have a responsibility to ensure that young Africans have a real stake in a bright future on their own continent. It is our responsibility to equip them with the skills to compete and succeed globally. This should be our primary focus and it is doable,” he said.
The President said that this was among the reasons Africa was keen on participatory integration to have greater economic relevance.
Participating in bigger markets is vital for our economic future. By 2050, Africa’s population will be two and a half billion, larger than any other continent. We will only realise our full promise by joining together our historically fragmented markets and making it easier for people, goods and services to move across our continent,” Kagame said.
This, he said, was part of the reasons why the African Union had adopted the African Continental Free Trade Area – which is due to enter into force later this year as well as the Protocol on the Free Movement of People and agreed on a Single African Air Transport Market.
Sharing Rwanda’s governance practices and experience, President Kagame said that good governance and accountability is central to everything as the country works to reverse a legacy of extreme corruption and division that nearly completely destroyed the country.
“Good governance and accountability are central to everything we do. In Rwanda’s case, we are working to reverse a legacy of extreme corruption and division in our society that nearly completely destroyed our country,” the President said.
Among the guiding principles in the country is an understanding that leaders and institutions are in place to respond to the expectations of citizens. This he said is complemented by a focus on civic participation and trust ensuring that everyone is included in shaping the country’s future.
He also noted the importance of investment in human capital and other driving factors of prosperity.
“We have done our best to get the most out of the resources we do have and find creative ways to fill the gaps,” he said.
To lay the foundation and make progress, he noted that Rwanda has had to start transforming the basis of the economy from subsistence to knowledge in order to unleash creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Our strategy has been to get government out of the business of business and focus instead on creating a conducive enabling environment and a level playing field for private enterprise,” the head of state told the summit.
The summit looks at trends of governance, best practices, replicable models as well as the role of governance aspects such as Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s gathering highlighted Rwanda as a guest country and will showcase Rwanda’s progress in the tourism and agriculture sector. The other two guest countries at this year’s Summit are Estonia and Costa Rica.
The annual global gathering hosts over 4000 participants and invites Heads of State and Government as well as international organisations’ representatives and experts from over 100 countries.
On the sidelines of the summit, President Kagame met Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and the Vice President of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell Barr.