Accra, 12 December 2017 - Yesterday, President Paul Kagame and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo spoke at an ongoing high-level Africa roundtable on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The two leaders discussed what is needed for developing countries to achieve SDGs.
The two-day gathering is hosted by President Akufo-Addo, who co-chairs the Eminent Group of Advocates, along with Norway Premier Erna Solberg.
Below is President Kagame's speech at the roundtable:
It’s a great pleasure for me to join you, Mr. President for this event, here in Accra. I would like to start by thanking you, for the invitation to participate in this important discussion, and the warm hospitality accorded to us.
I also wish to commend you, Mr President, and co-chair, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, for your service leading the UN Secretary General’s Eminent Group of Advocates.
There are two main aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals, that i will talk about, that constitute an improvement from our experience with the Millennium Development Goals.
We can take better advantage of these, as we work to reach the new targets, and transform the lives of our people.
First, is the strong emphasis on the private sector as an engine to eliminate poverty and create wealth, objectives that are at the heart of most of our national plans.
Integrating the SDGs into these plans, and ensuring their implementation, cannot be successfully achieved, by government alone.
This is why strong collaboration with the private sector, throughout the process, is critical, for reaching a win-win situation.
For example, the financing gaps for major projects, can be filled by private sector investment, through appropriate de-risking mechanisms, provided by the public sector and other partners.
Secondly, we now have an ambitious development framework to engage all countries, rather than just developing ones, especially knowing that there are cross cutting issues that affect everyone and every country.
This provides new scope for productive global partnerships and learning. This could include reaching consensus on how to measure progress, and support implementation, in ways that are most relevant, for our respective national contexts.
Rwanda will continue to collaborate with partner states, particularly through the SDG Centre for Africa, which we are happy to host in Kigali. And Mr President, I wanted to thank you for your support on that as well.
The centre was established to facilitate coordination and advocacy, and help us all build capacity to implement the SDGs. I invite you all to use and support it, as we support our continent.
Mr. President, distinguished audience, I would like to once again thank you for your kind attention, and I look forward to further discussion today.