This Day (Lagos)

12 November 2012

Nigeria: Kagame - How Nigeria Can Recover Lost Opportunities

Rwandan President, Mr. Paul Kagame, at the weekend identified meaningful investments in youth and education as key strategies, which he said, would help Nigeria and other African states recover their lost opportunities.

Kagame said this at a breakfast meeting of Young Nigerian Professionals organised at Civic Centre, Victoria Island at the weekend to unlock windows of investment opportunities between Nigerian and Rwandan entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the meeting, Kagame dismissed a tradition of seeking development aids from foreign donors and international financial institutions from Europe and United States among African states, noting that neither Nigeria nor any African state needed any foreign aids to unlock opportunities in its economy.

According to him, "Nigeria can change, but it is the young people that can make the changes. I believe the change has started already. What is required to make a change is in the hands of youths. Rwanda is ready to work with Nigeria and failing to do what is necessary will make prosperity a major challenge on the continent."

He explained that each country on the continent "has everything it needs to catalyse its growth and development. We have lost opportunities in the past. We should be challenged so that we do not lose opportunities in the future again. We must ensure as a continent, that opportunities are no longer wasted."

Aside from natural resources the continent with which the continent is endowed, the president added that meaningful investment in young people, who he said, constitute larger part of African population.

He said: "If we look at the number of young people we have in this part of the world, it is a vast opportunity for the government. But we need to support them. I want to see young Nigerians and Africans working together and take advantage of vast opportunities in their respective countries or on the continent.

"The continent's young people need to interact and network. We now have technology and devices to interact and network better. This is how we can gain what has been lost in the past decades. There is no other way around it. Africans must develop Africa. Europe will not develop our continent for us," he said.

Kegame added that Rwanda under his leadership was able to make progress because both leaders and people resolved "to confront their challenges. All the development aids would amount to nothing if we do not develop our young people.

"We have everything within our means bring about desired development. Everyone is capable of being a leader, and there is no problem that insurmountable. Young people should no longer waste opportunities. Africa needs the younger generations to redefine and transform our future," Kagame said.

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