Kigali, The International Economic conference, East Africa chapter is underway at Kigali Serena hotel. The two day conference will focuses on infrastructure and growth started today at Kigali, Serena hotel. It brought together lawmakers and business people to find ways to improve and advance economic growth. Participants are region's most successful CEOs and investors from all sectors of economy and senior government.
At the initial stage of this conference, participants showed their concerns mainly on what political leaders are doing to reform the trade and investment landscape. The end results for questions are to explore new business opportunities with and to assess how to turn potential into profit.
Rwanda's Finance Minister John Rwangombwa, one of the panelists said that, Rwanda is focusing on promoting investment and economic growth in all sectors. He referred to 'Doing Business report' that ranks Rwanda the second in 'investment reforms'.
Minister Rwangombwa reassured participants that the current aid cutting by some donors will have a slight implications to Rwanda's economic but it will not derail the overall development : " Rwanda is not on fire, the total amount suspended is 11,6% of which only 5% would go the direct budget budget support. Unlike direct budget support, all other projects will continue to be funded Minister Rwangombwa said.
Although Rwanda is the most effective aid user, the country plans to reduce its dependency on aid according to Minister Rwangombwa. "Aid's share in our budget will diminish from 41% now to 20% in five years" he said
While commenting on recent discoveries of offshore gas in Tanzania and oil in Kenya, the Prime Minister of Tanzania Mizengo Pinda said the East Africa's prospects keep improving and the growing population is as well an opportunity. He said the region has the potential to become one of the world's fastest growing economies mainly due to reforms taken by governments to enable a diversified economy, encompassing energy, services, manufacturing, tourism, mining and construction. "We need to quickly create better transport links and efficient -functioning institutions and legal systems", concluded Mr Pinda.