Kagame was addressing African Heads of State on Shaping Africa’s Agenda in the Global Context in Davos, Switzerland at the ongoing World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
He said that more than ever, conditions are ideal to change the status quo and take lead in shaping Africa’s future bringing to end dependence on external actors who often benefit more than the people of the continent.
“The conditions have never been so favourable for Africa to take the lead in shaping its own global agenda. For too long, we ceded responsibility for Africa’s agenda to others, with some individuals even benefitting,” Kagame said.
Kagame who is the current African Union Chairperson said an institutionally weak and economically stagnant Africa is not of benefit to any global stakeholder as has been evidenced by challenges in migration and security among others
“Everyone benefits from a stronger, more united Africa. This is reflected in the more constructive tone of Africa’s partnerships with China, Europe and others. But no one is going to transform Africa on our behalf. It is up to us,” he added.
He, however, said that there is notable improvement in the pace and quality of integration through aspects such as African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement as well as the protocol of free movement of people.
In the coming African Union Summit scheduled for February this year, the Heads of State and Government will consider a proposal to harmonise digital identity platforms across Africa, with common technical standards and data protection norms.
All these initiatives he said are aimed at bringing all Africans into productive, knowledge-based economic activity.
Emphasising on the importance of international cooperation, Kagame said the African continent also ought to adopt a posture of active responsibility toward shaping its place in the world.
Other requirements for the way forward, he said include strategic leadership and investment from the private sector particularly in terms of technology and industrialisation.
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