Africa has the capacity to guard against global economic slowdown if only the continent can exploit its vast natural resources.
President Paul Kagame believes that in Africa there are things we are not doing that we should be doing that could help make our economies more resilient despite these shocks.
“In Africa we don’t trade with one another, intra trade level is tiny yet it holds huge potential. It can make our economies resilient,” Kagame told Journalists at the end of the World Economic Forum on Africa.
For Kagame, Africa is failing to cushion against global economic shocks because, “We produce what we don’t consume and consume what we don’t produce. I would rather look at long term than tackling problems of our economies by touch and go.”
“If we don’t in Africa answer the question. How can you be so rich yet so poor at the same time. Africa is the richest continent in the world in terms of natural resources with over a Billion people.”
He said that lack of transformation in Africa is not because of lack of or too much technology. “It’s because of something else”.
Kagame explained some of the reasons Africa may not expand its footprint on the on the global market. “If you look at global production value chains, where does Africa find itself. For Example if someone wants to start an industry such as Textile: For made in Rwanda…there is misperception that Rwanda can’t produce anything.”
President Kagame expressed satisfaction that Rwanda had successfully hosted the World Economic Forum on Africa.
“Am happy that hosting this event was successful. May be we can capitalise on this to connect Rwanda to the rest of the world. There are big transactions that take place. It means there is some descent capacity that has been created over years. If we can pull off this one maybe we can do with some other cases.”