President Kagame said on Wednesday that Rwanda’s achievements did not happen by accident rather thanks to the hard work of Rwandans and partners and keeping the lessons learnt from the country’s dark history.
President Kagame was taking part in a fireside chat with former Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) International Chairman McKeel Hagerty, as part of the YPO’s ‘EDGE’ underway in Cape Town, South Africa.
“The indicators you have mentioned on global measurement and standard have not happened by accident. It’s so much work that has been put into taking our country from devastation to a place of hope. This has largely happened on the account of the efforts of Rwandans, partners like YPO, different individuals who in their capacities have been part of the story of Rwanda and decided and chosen to be,” President Kagame said.
The President further reiterated that Rwandans chose unity over divisionism as part of lessons learnt from their history.
“You don’t use differences to harm other people. Divisive politics must be seen as dangerous in actual fact. People must stop confusing being different from taking it to the extent of harming society. This is a very hard lesson we have learned in our own country. We sometimes get attacks or instructions. We are misunderstood to be suppressing these differences to the detriment of future stability. But for us we are having a discussion based on the experiences and consequences we have had. We are not just going by textbooks. I have no quarrel with that, we focus on changing our lives and country for the better and drawing on the hard lessons we have learned and learning also from others,” President Kagame observed.
On creating a conducive business environment President Kagame stated that the government had to “put ourselves in the shoes of an outside investor”.
“We then put in place the things that an outside investor who has choices would want to see. We want you to come to Rwanda and feel safe and secure in your investment. We also want to keep seeing the outputs of our efforts minding what the inputs, efficiencies are,” President Kagame added.
Prior to the fireside chat, President Kagame attended the plenary session bringing together members from across 130 countries for the two-day conference held under the theme ‘Introducing the Life of RE’ – a life of constant upgrade and improvement.
EDGE is the YPO’s largest flagship event hosted on a different continent each year. It convenes around 2,500 participants to address key issues in business, politics, science, technology, philanthropy and the humanities.
Held under the theme ‘Introducing the Life of RE’ – a life of constant upgrade and improvement (RE-ignite, RE-skill, RE-tool, RE-boot, and RE-invent, etc.) the two day gathering aims to provide opportunities, support and inspiration for young leaders as they reinvent themselves and their industries.
YPO is the largest global network of business leaders with more than 24,000 members in more than 130 countries.
President Kagame has received YPO delegations in Rwanda several times before and has participated in different events organised by YPO globally. The organization awarded President Kagame with the Global Leadership Award in March 2003.
The last YPO visit to Kigali took place in November 2018 with 80-member of the organisation from across the globe including Belgium, USA, Monaco, Luxembourg, Lebanon, UK, Kenya and the Great Lakes YPO Chapter which brings together members from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan.