President Paul Kagame has called on leaders gathered at the 15th annual National Leadership Retreat to pull in the same direction in order to achieve the country’s development goals.

The four-day retreat, which opened today at Rwanda Defence Force Combat Training Centre in Gabiro in Gatsibo District, was attended by First Lady Jeannette Kagame and attracted about 300 leaders from the central government, local government, parastatals and the private sector to discuss a number of critical issues affecting the country.

“Leaders must make sure that we are constantly delivering on our vision. Over the last 15 years we have insisted on coordination and working together for some reason when it comes down to execution, herein lies the problem and people fail to work together,” Kagame told the leaders.

He added: “How can we achieve our vision without working together? He urged the leaders to complement each others efforts in order to fast track the development of the country and its citizens, adding that leaders are supposed to show the way and inspire the rest of the population to set out to achieve their development goals.

“The reason why we are leaders is because we have to provide leadership. Leaders set the vision. This retreat should help us to understand whether the vision set is clear to all of us and to everyone and how we are travelling that journey to realise the vision,” he said.

This years retreat discussions will focus on where Rwanda is today in relation to the country’s development targets, prerequisites for the country’s growth agenda, transformation through enhanced urbanisation and competitiveness.

Other topics under discussion include education that promotes a knowledge-based economy, fighting corruption and improving the quality of healthcare services.

The New Times wrote that,The 15th National Leadership Retreat comes after the adoption of the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), a seven-year government programme.

Under the seven-year programme, from 2017-2024, the Government plans to connect all Rwandans to water and electricity, create 1.5 million off-farm jobs, and double tourism revenues from the current $404 million to $800 million a year.

Under Vision 2050, Rwanda seeks to become a high income economy – making it possible for every Rwandan to earn at least $12,000 a year and leading a higher standard of living.

The annual per capita income hovers around $720.

At the on-going retreat, President Kagame urged leaders to think further on how the country’s vision can best be achieved.

“It’s not just a custom of coming here to talk and go back home, but it should serve as an opportunity to change certain things. What is not working should be changed ,” Kagame told the leaders.

Among other key things that the President pushed the leaders to fix immediately is the issue of child malnutrition as well as the issue of children who end up on the streets instead of staying in school.

The National Leadership Retreat, commonly known as Umwiherero, borrows from a tradition in Rwandan culture whereby leaders would convene to reflect on issues affecting their communities.

The Express News


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