Finance Minister shares Rwanda's success story with AFDB
The African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) jointly launched the African Economic Conference (AEC) in Kigali, Rwanda, on Tuesday, October 30 to discuss "Inclusive and Sustainable Development in an Age of Economic Uncertainty". On the eve of the meeting, John Rwangombwa, Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, spoke about the importance of the conference, now in its seventh year, which is being held for the first time in Rwanda.
The African Economic Conference could not have come at a better time. The continued uncertainties in the global economy, linked frequent turmoil in the capital markets and debt problem in the developed world poses big challenges to Africa's economic development. This can be seen as an opportunity as well. I am glad delegates will dig deep into these issues here in Kigali. I would like to thank the African Development Bank and its partners for organizing this meeting. This conference is a good precursor. Africa needs economic transformation over the coming decade if it is to develop at all. We cannot continue being the continent of primary commodities. As I said earlier, the continued uncertainties in the global economy, linked with frequent turmoil in the capital markets and the debt problem in the developed world pose big challenges to Africa's economic development. This can be seen as an opportunity as well. Policy-makers working closely with researchers and think tanks of the continent can turn these challenges into opportunities. We must present ourselves as the most profitable and secure destination of investors' funds that are scared of the problems in the Western markets. It is worrying to know that Africa attracts less than nine per cent of FDI. We need as much as possible to continue reducing the uncertainties about the evolution of our economies.
Absolutely, yes! The fact that Africa's economy has been growing at an average of five per cent despite the global economic crisis is an indication that we are on the right track. However, we can do even better.