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Rwanda: President Kagame urges African cooperation, conflict prevention

Africa’s efforts to further development depends on the ability of its people to work together and, in the first place, to prevent recurrent conflicts on the continent, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said here Thursday.

In a keynote address at the formal opening of the 2014 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB), President Kagame remarked that instability in any part of Africa affected every country.

Despite the renewed sense of optimism that Africa was on the rise, the President cautioned: “A number of difficult situations in Africa today remind us that progress can always be reversed.”

Noting that there was still a lot of potential to be realised, particularly in view of opportunities in the growing middle class and the bulging youth population, President Kagame said: “We cannot sit back, relax and take Africa’s future for granted.”

“Our countries have smart policies that we have seen work elsewhere, but require a much bigger role for the private sector to create jobs. For the first time, the world seems to be going our way,” he said.

President Kagame hailed AfDB’s good work, not just in the continental development but as “an essential bridge between Africa and a wider world”.

“It is a model of how Africa and the developed world can work together for mutual benefit,” he said.

The Rwandan President paid tribute to AfDB President Donald Kaberuka, a Rwandan national, for his outstanding leadership of the Bank.

Kagame told Kaberuka: “Proudly look back for the last 10 years, you have not only made the bank proud, you have also made Rwanda proud.”

Kaberuka’s tenure as chief of the AfDB, which he began in 2005 and was renewed in 2010, expires in May next year.

According to sources here, at least six candidates seem set to enter the succession race, but nomination for the post will formally open in July 2014.

PANA reports that likely candidates, according to the sources, are Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Sufian Ahmed; Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Samura Kamara; Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Akinwumi Adesina; Tunisia’s former Finance Minister Jalloul Ayed; Chad’s Minister of Finance Kordje Bedoumra and Islamic Development Bank Vice President Birama Boubacar Sidibe.

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