Your Excellency Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of Parliament and former President of the Republic of Maldives; Honourable Dr. Mohammed Anwar Husnoo, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government, Disaster and Risk Management of the Republic of Mauritius; Dr. Samir Saran, President of the Observer Research Foundation; Your Excellencies Ambassador and High Commissioner, Government of Rwanda senior officials present here, and distinguished participants, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you all at this second edition of the Kigali Global Dialogue, entitled Unleashing Growth Development and Human Capital. We are indeed delighted to host this very important dialogue in Kigali.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Observer Research Foundation, ORF America, and Rwanda Convention Bureau for their efforts in organising this three-day conference. I am sure that this will be a great occasion to reflect on the critical sustainable development challenges facing our countries today and discuss various opportunities that can be exploited to ensure inclusive economic recovery.
The first edition of the Kigali Dialogue, hosted initially in 2019, committed to serve as an annual Rwanda-based platform where experts and practitioners from across the world would gather to discuss contemporary challenges facing the world and come up with policy options to address them. Since the previous dialogue, the world has witnessed economical disruptions due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The war in Ukraine has further exacerbated the situation and its negative effects are felt across the world. The focus areas of this year’s dialogue are, therefore, timely focusing on resilience, climate change, health, digital transformation, and global governance. There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise at this conference to contribute to great ideas to tackle these unprecedented challenges of our times and to get back our countries on a path of recovery and sustainable development.
The Kigali Global Dialogue provides a unique opportunity to share experiences and solutions as well as an occasion to establish new partnerships between countries, organisations, as well as interpersonal networks. Rwanda and India enjoy excellent relations not only at the governmental level, but also with Indian institutions and think-tanks such as the Observer Research Foundation. The experience of our two countries—whose population constitute a higher percentage of youth with transformative innovations and resilience—will continue to play a critical role in addressing the current challenges of our economies in the post-COVID-19 recovery context if given the opportunity.
Excellencies and distinguished guests, climate change which affects the world today, particularly the developing countries, presents a significant threat to the COVID-19 recovery efforts, and sustainable development and risks reversing development gains if not effectively tackled. Therefore, accelerated climate action is critical. In this regard, it is important that our countries fast track the implementation of policies and strategies that will enable a smooth green transition. By ensuring that sustainable solutions are part of our pandemic recovery plans, we can accelerate the transition to clean power. But, this transition must be fair and equitable. It should align with our government priorities and aspirations to ensure that no one is left behind.
The government of Rwanda has set up a plan with a target of 60 percent of the generation mix to be powered by renewable resources by 2030. In the health sector, the outbreak of COVID-19 exposed the huge disparities as well as weaknesses in the global health systems. Focused attention on building resilient health systems so that our countries are better prepared to prevent, detect, respond, and recover from health emergencies is key. In this regard, Rwanda, this year, embarked on the construction of a vaccine manufacturing plant in Kigali, in partnership with BioNTech. The facility will be instrumental in strengthening our health system and prevent eventual diseases, not only in Rwanda but also in the entire African continent. In the framework of the African Union, African countries are working towards strengthening health capabilities. I am happy to inform you that Rwanda was recently chosen by the African Union member states to host the African Medicine Agency. We look forward to operationalising this important regulatory body which will go a long way to support the development of the pharmaceutical industry in our continent.
On the economic front, for our recovery in the post-COVID-19 period, we rely on increased trade and investments among countries leveraging opportunities created by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area to promote investments in the African continent.
Excellencies and distinguished guests, in conclusion, let me once again thank the Observer Research Foundation, ORF America, and the Rwanda Convention Bureau for organising this important dialogue and for creating a meaningful platform of engagement. I look forward to insightful discussions during the course of the next two and a half days. I wish you a fruitful engagement and thank you for your kind attention.
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