Kigali Economic Forum

“The 21st century could be – and must be – Africa’s century”. Echoing the words of Antonio Guterres, the Rencontres Économiques will be holding its first edition in the heart of East Africa, in Kigali, on 27 and 28 November. This exceptional event will bring together many of the continent’s leading economic, political and institutional figures on the theme of “In times of crisis, what are Africa’s opportunities?”

Africa is certainly the continent that will face the greatest challenges in the coming years. Yet in the face of the global economic slowdown and macroeconomic, ecological, political and financial turbulence, the continent’s colossal potential will be the foundation of our shared success. The youth of its population, its development in digital technologies and the regional integration processes underway are all levers that need to be activated if the African continent is to occupy the place it deserves.

The Kigali Economic Forum aims to mark a real turning point in Africa’s role and place in the global economy. Bringing together leading decision-makers, they will offer new solutions for youth, education, the role of women, economic governance, attractiveness and financing of the continent.

Find out more about the full programme and speakers below. Like all Cercle des économistes events, the Kigali Economic Forum is free and open to all, subject to registration.


10.30-10.50am – OPENING


With: Jean-Hervé Lorenzi (President of Les Rencontres Economiques d’Aix-en-Provence), Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana (Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of Rwanda)


10.50-11.00am – INTRODUCTION


Guest of Honor


11.00am-12.30pm – Educate and train the youth: Developing the levers of prosperity


Africa is now the continent with the largest share of young people in its population. This human capital represents a considerable potential for African countries, which requires strong investment in education and training. These diverse young people represent the major lever on which to build sustainable growth in Africa. For this to happen, children and adolescents must have the opportunity to blossom and develop their full potential.

Coordination: Ulysse Gosset (International Editorialist, BFM TV)

Keynote : Claudette Irere (Minister of State for Education, Republic of Rwanda)*

Debate with: Christian Kamayou (Managing Director, Akiba Business Partners), Dr. Raymond Ndikumana (Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Rwanda), Constance Owona (First Vice-President, Groupement des Femmes d’Affaires du Cameroun), Ileana Santos (Co-founder, Je m’engage pour l’Afrique), Dr. Acha Leke (Chairman Mckinsey’s Africa Region City of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa)


2.00-3.30pm – Women at the heart of African economies: From social responsibility to autonomy


The role of women in African economies is essential. Their responsibility in decision making and in guiding communities plays a key role. On the economic level, nearly a quarter of women in Africa are now entrepreneurs. To strengthen the role of women, many levers can be mobilized, such as support for social and entrepreneurial projects or the development of key skills for economies. To achieve inclusive and sustainable growth, it will be essential to promote the role of women in the real economy and ensure their autonomy.

Coordination: Elisabeth Moreno (former French Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities)

Keynote: Dr. Valentine Uwamariya (Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Rwanda)*

Debate with: Olivier Laouchez (CEO, Groupe Trace), Cathia Lawson-Hall (Independant Director and Senior Advisor), Maryse Mbonyumutwa (Founder, Asantii)


3.30-5.00pm – Attracting investors: Changing the perception of investment projects in Africa


The perception of risk is still largely overestimated in Africa in relation to the investment projects actually carried out, penalizing the competitiveness of the continent’s economies. The very high interest rates, which reflect these perception biases, must therefore be brought back to a level closer to reality. In order for the cost of capital to return to a reasonable level, the signals sent to investors by the various tools available must be improved.

Coordination: Christian de Boissieu (Vice-president, Le Cercle des économistes)

Debate with: Sylvère Bankimbaga (Deputy General Director, Bancobu), Francis Gatare (CEO, Rwanda Development Board), Eugene Nyagahene (Founder & CEO, Tele 10), Kampeta Pitchette Sayinzoga (CEO, Development Bank of Rwanda), Stanislas Zeze (M.P.A, CEO, Bloomfield Investment), Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u (Minister of Finance of Kenya)



9.00-10.30am – Digital technology and AI in Africa: The region's contribution to the continent's future


The East African region is the continent’s fastest-growing economy over the last two decades. The upturn in world trade seems to confirm this long-term trend. By investing heavily in education, but also and above all in new technologies, digital technology and artificial intelligence, the region will be able to lead the revival of the continent’s industrial and service sectors. If the starting point of the reflection is the East African region, we might wonder if the growing economy of technologies is also observed on the entire continent of Africa?

Coordination: Jean-Hervé Lorenzi (Président, Les Rencontres Economiques d’Aix-en-Provence)

Keynote: Paula Ingabire (Minister of ICT & Innovation, Rwanda)

Debate with: Momar Dieng (Dean, African Leadership University Business School), Franck Kié (CEO Ciberobs and founder, CyberAfricaForum), Cina Lawson (Minister of the Digital Economy and Transformation, Togo), Elisabeth Moreno (former French Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities), Sophie Tchatchoua (Managing Director, Canal + Rwanda)


10.30amp-12.00pm – Towards a new economic governance: Coordinating African actors and their partners


The current global economic governance system and institutions were conceived and shaped by developed countries, de facto marginalizing African and other developing countries while at the same time aiming to, and pretending to, serve their interests through trade, investment, and development assistance. Not only could these interests be served better, but this system is no longer fit to address today’s crucial global and domestic challenges. All of which call for forms of collective action worldwide. Rethinking global economic governance provides an opportunity to hear African voices and discuss the contribution of African countries, and the benefits they should seek in a more efficient global governance system.

Coordination: Pierre Jacquet (Member, Le Cercle des économistes)

Debate with: Antoine Anfré (French Ambassador to Rwanda), Karamo Kaba (Governor, Banque Centrale de la République de Guinée), Louise Mushikiwabo (Secretary General, IOF), Xiangchen Zhang (Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization), Lionel Zinsou (CEO of PAI Partners, Founder & Managing Partner of SouthBridge, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Benin)


2.00-3.30pm – Investing in new sectors of activity: For an eco-responsible, inclusive and sustainable growth


To ensure sustainable development, African economies need to identify the sectors that will enable them to integrate all stakeholders in their societies in the long term. The ecological and energy transition can be the spearhead of this dynamic. The sectors identified will thus become the pillars of economic activity in Africa and this will make it possible to direct intra-continental and destination financial flows towards these priority sectors for eco-responsible, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Coordination: André Cartapanis (Member, Le Cercle des économistes)

Keynote: Donald Kaberuka (Chairman of the Board of Directors, South Bridge)

Debate with: Belen Calvo Uyarra (Ambassador of the European Union to Rwanda), Cheick-Omar Diallo (Spokesperson for the projects Tilenga/EACOP, TotalEnergies), Evrard Havyarimana (CEO, Growth Supply), Jeanine Munyesguli (Minister of state in charge of Public Investment and Resource mobilization), Dr Désiré Jean-Marie Vencatachellum (Senior Director of the Country Economics Department, African Development Bank)


3.30-5.00pm – Financing African economies: Developing a network of world-class financial centers


Africa’s potential as an international financial center is immense and largely under-exploited. To facilitate access to market financing for African companies, the networking of financial centers is a realistic and effective solution. The establishment of a common legislative and operational framework among the members of this network will generate economies of scale and create a ripple effect between the major regional financial centers, improving the depth of markets across the continent.

Coordination: Christian de Boissieu (Vice-president, Le Cercle des économistes)

Debate with: Nick Barigye (CEO, Rwanda Finance Limited), Serge Ekue (President, BOAD), Jeff Gasana (Founder & CEO, ComzAfrica), Diane Karusisi (CEO, Bank of Kigali), Jean-Philippe Lambert (Mayer Brown)



*interventions en attente de confirmation

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