President Kagame challenges leaders to turn things around
President Paul Kagame has challenged local and central government leaders as well as private sector operators to change the attitude and mindset in order to deliver on the country’s aspirations.
He was yesterday closing the 16th National Leadership Retreat, Umwiherero, which was attended by more than 350 leaders from the public and private sector at Rwanda Defence Force Combat Training Centre in Gabiro.
As leaders were getting ready to depart from the retreat where they have spent three days, Kagame posed a question on what needs to done in order to turn things around.
“Have a better attitude, the correct mindset and the implementation based on some of the good policies we actually have. We should not just be coming here to repeat apologies. We need to be explaining why we are falling short on our goals,” he said.
“Everyone is committed and claims they want to do their best. How can we turn things around, so that the commitment portrayed from you, actually matches the results we get?” he asked.
The President underscored the need to stop giving the same explanations and all kinds of reasons that always justify failure.
“We need to turn around our attitude of when there is a task ahead of us…don’t start by thinking things are not doable, start by thinking they are doable, if they become difficult along the way that is ok, you will have tried,” he noted.
This year’s retreat was also marked by the visit of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya who was in the country for a working visit during which he held a tete a tete meeting with his counterpart President Kagame.
“When the President told me you are meeting and having a retreat, I told him that, as a friend, a brother, and a neighbor, I would like to come and see how you people run the affairs of Rwanda. And I must say that indeed I am quite impressed, to the point that I am going to copy this,” Kenyatta said while addressing the retreat delegates.
“The relationship between our two countries is probably one of the best relations that we have, as Kenya,’ Kenyatta added.
The Kenyan President also praised Rwanda’s progress since the Genocide against the Tutsi and pointed to the role of integration in improving lives of the citizens of both nations:
“We are very proud of the manner in which Rwanda has turned around, from a country that was heavily, heavily hit, especially during the Genocide period, a country that was on its knees, to one of the brightest stars on the African continent in a very short space of time,” he said.
“At the end of the day, Kenya alone cannot make it, Rwanda alone cannot make it, but together we have huge and tremendous potential for growing prosperity for our people and for our countries,” President Kenyatta added.
Umwiherero is an annual gathering where Rwandan leaders reflect on the country’s progress and strategies on accelerating delivery of national priorities. It has become a unique governance tool that allows the country’s leaders to hold themselves accountable.
This year’s deliberations included sessions on investments, increasing agricultural productivity, and human capital development, specifically on improving the quality of education and health.
The Prime Minister’s Office is expected to disclose resolutions from this year’s edition of the retreat.
At the beginning of this year’s retreat Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente, said that last year’s recommendations were implemented at over 75 per cent.
“The 13 resolutions taken were translated into 48 action points of which 37 are at an advanced level of implementation – over 75 per cent,” he remarked at the opening session.
The Government had also stepped up efforts aimed at fighting corruption in the public and private sector. Embezzled funds worth Rwf2 billion were recovered, 595 cases were investigated and 205 public servants were sanctioned.