BY Robert Inkaka Kanyamanza
African billionaire and philanthropist Aliko Dangote was in Rwanda last week during the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa’s gathering to set up the Center’s headquarters in Kigali. At the Kigali Convention Center, President Paul Kagame opened the ceremony.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) officially know as Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of 17 inspirational global goals with 169 target between them. Among them goals and targets are the Economic growth and Infrastructure agendas. Paramount economists have argued that the twin consideration of long-term economic growth and infrastructure investments were not addressed properly and prioritized as they should during the setting up of the goals; and there is exactly where Mr Dangote intervention, through his Dangote Group, will be of major backing and support to the Implementations of the Africa’s 2030 SDGs Agenda.
In the midst of more than 200 global leaders in government, business, academia and civil society gathered in Kigali on Friday January 27th , the presence of Mr Dangote was of major significance. As a business leader and philanthropist he is a driver of economic and social transformation in Africa. The resources and expertise him and his Dangote Group bring on the table are very much needed.
On the occasion, during his key note speech, President Kagame touched on the subject of Economic growth and that of Innovation and Infrastructure and underlined the intersectoral linkages between them. He reminded us how it is important to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. We have to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation, he insisted.
Joining the President to his thoughts, Mr Aliko Dangote echoed the importance of providing a platform to align private action and public policies for the common good. The Sustainable Development Goals Center is everybody’s business, everywhere. Because even as the Center is headquartered in Rwanda, it will see to the betterment of the African society as a whole. Whether you are a private company, a foundation, a Government or a government organisation, you thrive when society thrives. You lose amidst poverty, diseases, inequality, conflicts and illiteracy.
Africa needs business to help improve living standards. But Africa does not need business as usual.
Mr Aliko Dangote is playing his part.