President Kagame outlined the necessity of strong partnerships to promoting development in Africa. Praising the government partnerships with AGI and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, President Kagame held them up as examples of the kind of strong and collaborative partnerships that Rwanda aims to build with its partners. He said that Rwanda welcomes the resources, experience and ideas of their international partners, but must reserve the right to prioritise for its own future. AGI, he explained, helps the government to “build capacity so that we can deliver what we want to deliver.”
Tony Blair called for an end of aid in its current form. He argued that the development community should focus on partnerships:
“[We must] shift the conversation from short-term palliative measures, to a longer-term capacity building approach.”
The importance of attracting investment was also discussed. According to the World Bank, Rwanda is now the third easiest country in Africa to do business in, and attracting investment is essential to ensuring economic growth, long term poverty reduction and job creation. Howard Buffett took the opportunity to praise Rwanda’s progress, saying that “Rwanda stands out in terms of what it has accomplished.”
At the close of the session, Mr Blair congratulated Rwanda on how fantastic a job they had done of hosting the conference, saying how it shows the tremendous progress the country has made in the last 20 years.
The work described here was carried out by the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, it is now being continued by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.