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Rwanda : Paul Kagame in favour of more public-private partnerships

Africa’s trade future is taking shape as 24 new countries prepare to join the « Guided Trade Initiative » within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). To this end, member states urgently need to draw up a roadmap for public-private partnerships to boost their competitiveness.

Full implementation of the African Trade area(AfCFTA)agreement could increase member states’ real income by 7%, or nearly 450 billion dollars. On the occasion of the Friends of the AfCFTA Forum held on january 17,2024 under the theme « Stimulating action within the framework of the AfCFTA », Rwandan President Paul Kagame reiterated the imperative of a partnership between the private and public sectors in a way that helps change the discourse that Africa is too risky a continent.

“There is no better way of advancing our African continental free trade area imperatives than consolidating between the private sector  and the public sector so we look forward to a very strong presence and activity by the private sector.”

Paul KAGAME, President of the RepublicRwanda

The idea of creating a continental African free-trade zone was born out of the realisation that trade relations between African countries were weak, at just 16% compared with around 70% with Europe and Asia. Its aim is to open up Africa to itself, a market with a population of around 1.2 billion and which, according to estimates by the African Development Bank, will reach 2.5 billion by 2050.

“We must change the narrative about Africa being a too risky continent. I think the full picture and explanation of the situation will be through this collaboration.”

Paul KAGAME, President of the RepublicRwanda

This agreement, which came into effect on May 30, 2019, should ultimately enable African countries to avoid becoming a zone of influence for the benefit of countries exporting goods and services to Africa. Specialists estimate that the percentage of public-private partnerships between Africa and the rest of the world is only 4%.


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