The African continent has largely overcome the baggage of negativity that characterised it for many decades and is now a region of hope, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has said.
Addressing a policy leaders forum at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University on May 26, 2017, Rugunda called on American businesses to take advantage of the many emerging opportunities in Africa and invest in the continent.
The event was part of the Policy Leaders Forum series at the Pardee School that brings senior international policymakers to Boston University for conversations with faculty and students. Guests included faculty from across Boston University and the Boston-area.
" Africa, without any doubt in my mind, is the continent of the future," Rugunda said.
The Prime Minister explained that the continent has a growing well educated young population that can be tapped to provide quality labour force to industry and business.
"Our growing young people may not have the jobs at the moment, but they clearly have the grey matter--the brains--that businesses need," he added.
Rugunda also told the audience that Africa has a wealth of natural resources that require value addition to bring dividends to the continent.
He explained that with an improving investment climate, better governance, stability and security, the continent is ready for investment.
"When you bring your money to invest it in Africa, it will be safe and you will reap big returns," he added.
Dr Rugunda reasoned that increased investments in Africa will create the much needed jobs , especially for the young people, improve their incomes and better their livelihoods.
He discussed some of the challenges currently facing the Africa, emphasizing how issues including climate change worsen poverty across the continent.
“The world today is facing significant challenges. What strikes me straight away is environmental challenges — issues of climate,” Rugunda said.
“They are affecting us, and they have already had devastating impact on the African continent and the African people. Poverty is rampant in certain parts of Africa, and climate change is aggravating this problem of poverty.”
Rugunda also discussed the growing interconnectedness of the world,and how events in one region of the world can have great effect across the world.
“We are all brothers and sisters. It’s only fair that you should care about your brother and your sister irrespective of the geographic location and complexities of color and other often divisive tendencies. We are all brothers and sisters,” Rugunda said.
Related to this, the Prime Minister spoke about the forthcoming solidarity summit on refugees to be convened jointly by Uganda Government and the United Nations and held in Kampala from 22nd to 23rd June 2017.
"We need to stand with our brothers and sisters who have had to free their homes in search of safety and security. It is a global responsibility," he said.