Dubai. Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni have stated that the East Africa Community has a huge potential and is ready for business with the world.
Speaking during the fourth Global Business Forum on Africa Wednesday last week, the duo reiterated that Africa is on the right path to integration and has created enabling environment for emerging industries and technologies.
The two-day event held under the theme “Next Generation Africa”, aimed to increase economic cooperation and strengthen trade and investment ties between the Middle East and the African continent. The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.
“It is history that has divided the continent and prevented it from being prosperous as it should be. But all this is possible as countries are already working together for continental integration,” President Kagame stated adding that it is realistic to have one continental bloc bringing Africa together though more still needs to be done but the momentum is there so it is up to the governments and private sectors to work together to accelerate such.
President Kagame gave the timeline for complete continental integration of five to 10 years saying by then Africa would have made more progress.
“Look at how Ecowas has made progress in the movement of people. EAC too has made progress in the customs, union and infrastructure. For instance, we have one area network across East African countries,” he stated adding that East African community is the most integrated region in Africa.
President Museveni wooed the United Arab Emirates leaders saying the East African Community is already integrated and the region has a strong market.
“When I talk about Uganda, I’m not talking about the Ugandan market only but the whole of East African Community market which has a great potential,” he stated.
The two African leaders reiterated that regional economic integration is the way forward for Africa and the Africa Union is right at the centre of it.
On his part the President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hamad Buamim pointed out that Dubai has identified a great growth potential that exist in Africa and the forum provides a unique opportunity to bring all key public and private sector stakeholders together to network and exchange valuable insights.
“Africa has an enormous potential and we are committed to supporting its growth,’ he said.
The chairman for the Dubai chamber, Majid Saif Al Ghurair, emphasized on Africa’s youth and its middle class as incredibly entrepreneurial.
“African youth has set their sight on developing innovative solution to some of their continent’s pressing challenges”.
The Dubai Business Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched the Global Business Forum in 2012.
Dubai won the bid to host the 2020 World Expo in November 2013 and has embarked on the journey towards creating a global collaborative platform that leaves a lasting legacy for the UAE and participating countries.
The Expo 2020 Dubai will be a global six-month celebration of creativity, innovation, humanity and world culture. Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, is the belief that innovation and progress are the result of people and ideas coming together in new and unique ways and will run from October 2020 to April 2021.