Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has called on African countries to stop seeking external funding and work with their own resources, which are available in plenty.
He was speaking during the opening of the African Leadership Forum, where he asked African leaders to control illicit financial flows, improves taxation and adds value to its raw materials.
“The value of illicit financial flows, evaded taxes, and commodity extraction greatly exceeds that of foreign aid. But, we have to take responsibility for the misallocation of Africa’s resources and take steps to correct that,” he said.
He further added that despite having resources it needs and the means to acquire the ones that are unavailable, Africa is still bent on borrowing.
“In Africa, we have everything we need, in real terms. Whatever is lacking, we have the means to acquire. And yet, we remain mentally married to the idea that nothing can get moving without external finance,” he said.
Kagame, who was among the first African leaders to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area, said the pact was an important aspect of regional integration that will foster development.
“The entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area is set to significantly increase trade within Africa, and consequently improve tax collection, we gain immeasurably by trading with each other, and lose so much when we don’t.”