The Kigali Economic Forum, which commenced Monday in the Rwandan capital, shone a spotlight on Africa’s pivotal role and position within the global economy.
Running through Tuesday, the event brought together decision-makers, economic and political leaders, government officials and policymakers from Africa and beyond, with the aim of deliberating on innovative solutions for the pressing issues confronting the continent.
During the forum’s inauguration, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente acknowledged the critical timing of the conference, especially amid the various challenges affecting the world economy, notably the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic has precipitated a decline in global production and an economic slowdown, with Africa bearing a particularly heavy brunt,” he said.
Speaking at the forum, Jean-Herve Lorenzi, president of the Cercle des economistes, a French economic think tank, expressed optimism regarding Africa’s potential to emerge as the driving force behind global economic growth in the 21st century. He emphasized the necessity for concrete actions to address the continent’s multifaceted challenges.
The forum, titled “In times of crisis, what are Africa’s opportunities?” served as a platform for discussing practical solutions to key challenges, in such areas as youth employment, education, women’s empowerment, economic governance, climate change, technology, investment and finance.
Despite the substantial challenges anticipated for Africa in the forthcoming years, the meeting underscored the continent’s vast potential, such as its youthful population, advancements in digital technologies and ongoing regional integration processes, all forming the bedrock for shared success on a global scale.
Organized by the government of Rwanda in collaboration with a group of French economic experts, the forum aimed to foster collaboration and catalyze actionable strategies for Africa to enhance its role in the global economy.