Global investment summit opens in Kigali
Written by: Our reporter
Thursday, September 8th, 2016, 6:52
Kigali: A two-day Global Africa Investment Summit (TGAIS) officially opened this Monday at the Kigali Convention Centre. The summit, which is taking place for the first time in Africa pulled over 800 delegates, including heads of government, representatives of multilateral organisations and members of the private sector.
The conference was officially started by President of Paul Kagame, in attendance was also President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. The forum comes at a time several African countries are working to create a conducive investment environment for the private sector.
President Kagame told delegates that, good momentum and tangible results will do more to increase support for integration than any amount of closed-door negotiation, among technical experts. “Africa cannot just remain a story, about huge potential that never materialises.”
Organisers of the summit with previous editions held in London say it is tailored to serve the continent’s growing appeal among forward thinking investors who view the continent as an investment destination as opposed to a sole aid benefactor.
Amanda Basi, the summit’s programme director said that the forum will showcase policy improvements and adjustments as well as gather feedback from the private sector on what more governments can do to improve the business environment.
“We are not only going to have governments and politicians talking about what they are doing, it is also going to involve conversations with members of the private sector who will highlight what is working well for them and what is not,” she said.
The uniqueness of this year’s summit is the focus on investments by African investors as well as promoting intra-regional trade, which is quite low compared to other regions across the world.
Currently, the levels of intra-Africa trade remain at under 15 per cent compared to regions such as Asia where it is over 40 per cent.
“One of the things that this forum will be looking at is the creation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area aspiration. The key thinking is why we are not having a common market and why we are not trading enough with each other. Trade is very low and increasing it is the next step for growth for the entire continent,” Basi said.