Kenyan president urges inclusive global financial system

Kenya’s President William Ruto Friday called for reforms of international financing institutions to ensure a more inclusive approach.

Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum 2024 in Rwandan capital Kigali, Ruto stressed the need to democratize the boards of multilateral development banks, ensuring that all members have an equal say in their management.

Ruto said the current international “financial architecture is faulty, it is unfair, it is not right and it must be fixed” because it neglects the interests of developing countries.

The Kenyan leader said it is one of the issues he would discuss with the US President Joseph Biden during his forthcoming visit to Washington later this month.

He spoke alongside presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique on a panel, Leadership at a Pivot: Africa’s Role on the Global Stage.

Ruto said necessary reforms would enable underserved countries to advocate for mutually beneficial outcomes, such as the allocation of additional resources for concessional loans.

The Kenyan president said he believes concessional loans would help pull many countries out of debt distress and give them the opportunity to pursue their development goals.

The two-day annual summit, which closed on Friday, drew about 2,500 business leaders and policymakers and aimed to discuss the pressing issues affecting the continent. The summit is organized by a pan-African French magazine Jeune Afrique in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group.

Kagame in his welcome remarks called for unity in the continent in order to drive its development agenda.

“The more united Africa is, the more productive our engagement with partners will become. Integration, for Africa’s business community, is an opportunity to grow our markets, and become more competitive. Africa does not have to ask for a seat at the table,” he said.

Nigeria’s businessman Aliko Dangote, the founder and CEO of the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa, said: “We have whatever it takes to make Africa great. I am not only putting in my money, but I am putting in my soul and life.”

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