After chairing the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) which convenes experts who offer strategic advice to the government of Rwanda, President Paul Kagame held a number of other important meetings with world leaders and influential CEOs, among others, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly – from September 18 to 26, in New York.
Jakob Stausholm, CEO of Rio Tinto Group
On September 18, President Kagame met with Jakob Stausholm, CEO of Rio Tinto Group – a leading global mining group that focuses on finding, mining, and processing the Earth’s mineral resources – for a discussion on strategic partnerships.
Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, CEO of Zipline
President Kagame also met with Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, CEO of Zipline – the world’s largest autonomous delivery system, specializing in on-demand drone delivery and instant logistics – for discussions on ways forward to expand Zipline’s partnership with Rwanda.
Zipline currently operates in seven countries, with Rwanda registering the highest number of deliveries to date. Zipline drones are used for blood delivery and aerial mapping.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of DP World
President Kagame also met with Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World, a world leader in global supply chain solutions; specializing in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, and maritime services, among others.
They exchanged on additional investment opportunities as well as the growth of the Kigali Logistics Platform (KLP), a dry port developed through a partnership with DP World and the Government of Rwanda.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer
On September 19, President Kagame met with Albert Bourla, the Chairman and CEO of American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, for discussions on strengthening Rwanda’s partnership with Pfizer.
They discussed the importance of Pfizer’s Accord for a Healthier World initiative towards reducing health inequities and addressing challenges of access to health care. Through this initiative, in September 2022, Rwanda was the first country to receive a delivery of patent-protected products for oncology, infectious, inflammatory, and rare diseases.
Rwanda received eight types of Pfizer medicines and vaccines for infectious and inflammatory diseases, as well as certain cancers through the Accord.
That evening, the President attended a dinner hosted by American Global Strategies, a strategic advisory firm founded by former U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. The President also attended a High-Level Roundtable on International Financial Architecture where he stressed the need for reorganizing the international financial mechanism, describing the matter as a real substance for Africa’s future, not a competition for the geopolitical influence that has been going on.
President Edgars Rinkēvičs of Latvia
President Kagame later held talks with President Edgars Rinkēvičs of Latvia. They discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation in various sectors, including agriculture, ICT, and investment. In June, Rwanda and Latvia signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a political consultation mechanism.
Bill Gates, Strive Masiyiwa
Later, President Kagame joined American philanthropist and investor Bill Gates, Zimbabwean businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa, and other leaders, for a roundtable organized by the Gates Foundation to discuss how mRNA vaccine technology can reduce vaccine manufacturing costs.
Deemah AlYahya, Secretary-General of the Digital Cooperation Organization
President Kagame met with Deemah AlYahya, Secretary-General of the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO), the world’s first standalone international organization focusing on the digital economy.
They exchanged on enabling digital prosperity for all by accelerating the inclusive growth of the digital economy.
Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President
Next, President Kagame met with Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group, and discussed the productive cooperation with Rwanda in multiple sectors including support for infrastructure development and skills development. They also exchanged on AfDB support for the development of Africa’s pharmaceutical industry through the establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation headquartered in Kigali.
Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa of Samoa
President Kagame met with Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa of Samoa for discussions on matters of importance to both nations as members of the Commonwealth. Samoa is set to host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2024.
President Mamadi Doumbouya of Guinea
President Kagame also met with President Mamadi Doumbouya of Guinea for discussions on ways to increase bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, digitization of public services, and more.
Their discussion follows President Kagame’s April visit to Guinea, where the two leaders committed to working together to address regional and continental challenges.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy
President Kagame met with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy.
They discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation between Rwanda and Italy, in areas of mutual interest including defence, agriculture, health, technology, and more.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados
President Kagame met with Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados. The two leaders discussed furthering Rwanda and Barbados’ bilateral cooperation in areas of trade and investment, tourism, and more.
President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique
President Kagame also met with President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique for discussions on strengthening existing bilateral cooperation between Rwanda and Mozambique.
In July 2021, Kigali, at the request of Maputo, deployed 1,000 troops to Mozambique’s northernmost Province of Cabo to help fight the terrorists, stabilise the area and restore the authority of the state. Kigali sent troops to work closely with Mozambique Armed Defence Forces (FADM) and forces from SADC, in the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
The President then also met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The two held discussions on the productive cooperation with various UN agencies contributing to Rwanda’s progress.
They also exchanged on the security situation in the region and on topics of continental and global impact.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner
President Kagame also met with Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner for a discussion on the status of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the UNDP-Rwanda partnership, including the agency’s role in the country’s development.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino
President Kagame received FIFA President Gianni Infantino to discuss FIFA’s partnership with Rwanda in football development.
James Manyika, Senior Vice President of Technology and Society, Google
President Kagame also met James Manyika, Senior Vice President of Technology and Society, Google. They had a conversation on furthering partnerships towards harnessing the power of technology, such as Artificial Intelligence, to accelerate economic growth.
Barry Segal, Founder of the Segal Family Foundation (SFF)
Kagame also met with Barry Segal, Dolly Segal and Martin Segal, Segal Foundation Board Chair, following the 10th Annual Meeting for the Segal Family Foundation held in Kigali in July.
They discussed ongoing investments the SFF has made to impact organizations across the world, 60 of which are Rwandan.
Don Peebles, founder, CEO of The Peebles Corporation
President Kagame received Don Peebles, founder, chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, a leading private real estate investment and development company. Their meeting covered potential areas of investment in Rwanda.
Amb. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission
President Kagame also met with Amb. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, for discussions on matters of regional and continental significance.
NBA’s Adam Silver, Mark Tatum and Giants of Africa Founder Masai Ujiri
The President also met with Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, Mark Tatum, Deputy Commissioner of NBA and Masai Ujiri, President of Toronto Raptors and founder of Giants of Africa.
They discussed the progress made since the start of Rwanda’s partnership with NBA including the completion of BK Arena in record time and the hosting of the Basketball Africa League.
They also exchanged on additional opportunities to develop basketball on the continent and the importance of sports as a driver for economic growth.