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Explainers - News around Africa - Profiles - December 24, 2019

‘AFCFTA Will Open us to a Market of Almost a Billion People’ – Paul Kagame

President Paul Kagame has urged Rwandans to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) that was recently agreed upon by all African countries

Kagame itemised the benefits of the AFCFTA and advised Rwandans to prepare to use harp on it by engaging in a local production of goods and services that meet global standards.

At a national discourse in Kijgali tagged: “Umushyikirano 2019″, the capital of Rwanda, the president explained that the AFCFTA will open up many opportunities for the country.

“Africa Continental Free Trade will open us to a market of almost a billion people. This provides huge benefits to us. However, we must be prepared to take full advantage by developing our own products and services that we can sell to others,” he had said.

“We started the Made in Rwanda campaign about two years ago and I am happy about the progress we have made. Our standard organisation has certified more than 30 products in the last 2 years that are of export quality. We have a huge market with Continental free trade. We have so much work to do.”

Kagame, is one of the key figures who advocated for the continental free trade.

“We are doing well as a country. Our economy is growing and in GDP growth rate we are second in Africa after Ethiopia. On Ease of Doing Business we want to be number one in Africa. I think we have back-slided because we are now number 29 on global ranking,” he said.

‘AFCFTA Will Open us to a Market of Almost a Billion People’ – Paul Kagame

“We should be moving forward. We should close the year with 8.5% growth in GDP. We should be targeting 10% growth. Our economy has maintained high growth consistently over the years since we launched vision 2020. As we plan to launch Vision 2050 from next year, it means we will become a stronger country on the continent. We will play more visible and stronger role in Africa and I seek your support for our country to be able to play her role well.”

He added that Rwanda, despite the many challenges the country has faced in the rebuilding process from the ruins of the genocide that claimed over 1 million lives in 1994,  its economic successes have been “amazing”

“Despite the fact we are facing challenges of the border, challenges of security our economy is growing. This is due to the commitment of every one of us to build our country,” he said.

“We are now funding our national budget with our own revenue up to 84% within 20 years from a country that relied on donors. What we have achieved is good but we can do better. When we have achievements we celebrate them but they are not enough.

“We must keep running. We want to keep growing. We want to keep advancing. We still have a lot to do to provide roads, electricity, schools etc. We are called to run not to walk,” the President charged Rwandans.”

Also Read: Nigeria to be the largest beneficiary of AfCFTA –IMF says

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