The New Times (Kigali)
26 September 2008
Posted to the web 26 September 2008
President Paul Kagame Wednesday called upon multinational corporations to invest in Africa and other developing countries to facilitate them achieve prosperity. He said this during the launch of the Business Call to Action, a function that took place on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly that started Monday.
"We invite more firms (multinational) to invest in Africa and in the developing world in general - in particular, enterprises that have "spin-off" powers to contribute to linkages of supply chains and employment," the President said at the function that was also attended by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He remarked that this call to action is an important "second generation" poverty reduction strategy as it draws key actors towards a single purpose.
"With regards to business, we encourage the multinational corporations to adopt the win-win framework of achieving business goals while incorporating local raw materials and inputs in their supply chains," he said.
The function brought together key players to development including Heads of State, the business community and members of the civil society. He reiterated the importance of business saying that it creates prosperity, innovation, employment and expands the tax base.
"The Business Call to Action represents a more integrated approach to wealth-creation - government, business, and civil society for maximum impact," Kagame told participants.
He said that the role of civil society organizations is to mobilize collaborative efforts on the part of their members; particularly those involved in income generating activities while the governments' role is to provide a conducive environment for investment.
"For Business Call to Action to succeed, each sector must play its part, with governments intensifying our efforts to improve business climate and businesses increasing investment," he said.
Meanwhile the President addressed a gathering at the Launch of Purchase for Progress Program (P4P), a new programme under the World Food Programme (WFP). He recognised the innovation involved in P4P saying it will facilitate countries to go beyond the traditional food aid donations from outside.
"This is an innovation of the new model that seeks to build capacities of local producers so that they can supply domestic, regional, and global agriculture markets," he remarked.
The programme is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose benefactors also attended the function. He said that the programme will also help in the creation of synergies between WFP and other partners in provision of credit and seed inputs for building capacity of local food producers and Rwanda is among the countries where the programme will operate.
"We appreciate inclusion of Rwanda in the P4P program," he said. He added that the sensitisation campaign for the initiative is already underway involving ministries such as Agriculture, Commerce, Finance and Local Government.
"We look forward to this partnership that will promote and empower Rwanda's farmer to meet quantity and quality requirements of the program," said the President.
Other than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative is also supported by the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation and the president encouraged other institutions to support the programme.
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