At the Australian Leadership Retreat in Brisbane on 24-25 March, ADC Forum announced the formation of the Australia-Rwanda Trade and Investment Council (ARTIC). ADC CEO, Anton Roux, stated that this initiative builds on ADC Forum’s past experience of actively promoting the building of relations between Australia and Africa. This recognises that not only is Africa the world’s fastest-growing continent, but it is also demographically the youngest with a highly dynamic economy. Roux said that Rwanda is an inspirational exemplar of a nation literally moving on from a devastating ground zero, to embracing a positive national vision, a spirit of reconciliation and an impressive enthusiasm, particularly amongst young generations, of the need to build its own destiny.
“Independent assessments recognise Rwanda as one of the African leaders and as one of the easiest Places to do Business in Africa (World Bank, 2020), the Best Place (1st in Africa) to be a Woman (WEF, 2018), one of the top ten most transparent government in the world (WEF, 2017) and one of the Safest Countries in the world (WEF 2017), ADC Forum has led a number of trade and cultural missions to Rwanda, with high level representation including former Governor-General, the late Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery. ADC Forum has also hosted visits to Australia by several Rwandan Ministers as well as President Paul Kagame who came to the ADC Forum Australian Leadership Retreat.
Building on this history, and recognising that both countries can present mutual opportunities in business, education and culture, as well as learning from each other in facing the current challenges confronting our world, ADC Forum has announced the formation of the Australia Rwanda Trade and Investment Council comprised of business and community leaders. The Council will foster mutually beneficial links between the two countries and strengthen understanding and opportunities. It will also use Rwanda as a conduit to broader links and opportunities throughout Africa, particularly as a gateway to the huge demographic and economic potential of the East African Community and Africa as a whole. Roux says the Mission of the Council will be to broaden and deepen the relationship between Australia and Rwanda; to advance trade, investment, and cultural exchange; to increase awareness and understanding between the peoples of Australia and Rwanda; and to strengthen ongoing links between Australia, Rwanda, and the East African region.
Initiatives planned for 2023 include an Australian Trade and Investment and Cultural Mission to Rwanda in June, a delegation of journalists to Rwanda and tourism promotions.