Gatsibo, 12 March 2016
President Kagame today opened the 13th National Leadership retreat taking place at the Gabiro Combat Training center in Gatsibo District.
In his opening speech, President Kagame welcomed the newly elected district Mayors, saying that Rwandans had expectations of new ways of working from their new leaders.
“As we gather here, we should make sure we achieve results worth our time. We are here to devise ways of changing our working style in order to achieve better results. We are seeking efficiency in our work, by analysing the way we work, the way we use our resources and the time we take to do what we do. We also seek improvement, we have to look back and examine where we were yesterday and compare this to where we are today and look for better ways of doing things.”
President Kagame asked leaders not to accept or tolerate mediocrity because it is not the way Rwandans should work in pursuit of solutions to their problems.
“We should not accept to stick to routine because this does not solve anything. We cannot accept the stance of business as usual and take this as a normal way of life. When we come to this retreat we do get together and socialise but this should be extended to the place of work, we should get together with the aim of ameliorating service delivery.”
President Kagame asked leaders to use the retreat as a time to discuss and share ideas which can be used to improve different sectors.
“We need to maximise this time so that we can achieve a lot out of it, we have to take this retreat serious and make changes in the way we execute our duties. We cannot merely count the number of retreats we have held when there is not much to show for it.”
President Kagame cited specific issues like the increase in street children, new buildings that don’t conform to modern standards and human trafficking as some of the lapses in efficiency in different sectors of public service and pointed out that these are issues that should be discussed during the retreat where solutions should be found and implemented.
“Some of these things only need observation, not resources but we fail to execute them. We don’t need donors to give us eyes to see our problems and solve them. We only need to see them and correct them but we also fail to do this.”
President Kagame also pointed out other issues like corruption, domestic violence and continued loss of law suits by Government which makes the government lose a lot of money in compensation in form of damages.
On accountability, President Kagame cautioned against wastage of resources especially through unnecessary foreign travels by leaders.
“I have been patient about this but I have decided to cut my losses. This has been going on for long and it has to stop.”
President Kagame asked leaders not to rest on their laurels when Rwanda is highly rated in its performance or praised but instead draw energy from the recognition and mention to do even better.
“We need to have this dynamic process of doing things ourselves. We should never rely on anybody else to solve our problems. We can achieve a lot through partnerships but the only person to rely on is yourself.”
President Kagame cautioned against leaders undermining the brand that Rwandans have built over the years by becoming complacent.
The 2016 annual National Leadership Retreat brings together Rwanda’s senior leaders to discuss national priorities, affirm the country’s shared vision to become a knowledge driven, middle-income country by 2020 and renew momentum to achieve development objectives. An estimated 250 leaders from Central Government, Local Government, parastatals and the private sector are in attendance. Key topics to be discussed during the three days include improving delivery towards the achievements of Vision 2020 targets, made In Rwanda: Revamping the Manufacturing Sector and the Rwandan Child: guaranteeing rights, promoting social welfare