Leadership retreat to focus on poverty reduction, job creation
New strategiesNational targets on the tabs
When the Ninth Annual Leadership Retreat kicks off this weekend in Gako, Bugesera District, poverty reduction, improved customer care, energy generation and improved access to healthcare will take centre stage.
President Paul Kagame is expected to chair the retreat that will run from 3-7 March.
During the retreat that will bring together central and local government leaders, heads of institutions, diplomats as well as representatives of the private sector, new strategies to cut poverty as well as other national targets will be laid out.
According to the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Protais Musoni, the retreat will bring together over 250 officials.
“This year will focus on the recent household surveys released in January which showed a 12 percent reduction in poverty levels over the last five years. The surveys showed that while poverty reduced, the distribution was uneven,” he explained.
“When we meet, we will assess and see where things moved fast and which parts of the country remained behind and why. Then we will come up with new strategies to reduce poverty holistically”.
Also to feature prominently will be issues of poor customer care and service delivery and measures that can be taken to improve the situation.
Musoni noted that the issue of customer care is a pertinent one and it is not the first time it will be tabled.
“We also want to focus on job creation. Our institutions of learning keep churning out new graduates and we have more young persons looking for what to do, yet in a real sense, jobs don’t increase. What we can do to tackle unemployment will feature prominently.
Our economy continues to be heavily dependent on agriculture, and one of the main topics to discuss will be how we can move towards industrialising our economy as well as value addition of our produce,” Musoni explained.
He added that during the retreat that will be held under the theme; “Consolidating citizen-centred development”, there will also take stock of what was achieved since last year’s resolutions, what was not and the reasons why.
He noted that a recent report showed that 74 percent of the targets set for the fiscal year 2011/12 had been achieved while 15 percent are almost achievable in the remaining months to June.
The minister noted that there had been shortfalls, especially on targets such as energy, where the targeted 31MW were not met. He attributed the shortfalls to various reasons such as finances and lack of capacity.
President Kagame will chair the discussions and speak about excellence in leadership, while renowned economist Prof. Paul Collier, the Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University, will present a paper on Rwanda’s vision to become a middle-income country.
Eric Kacou, one of two Managing Directors of the OTF Group, will also discuss a paper. According to Musoni, the retreat is one of Rwanda’s home-grown solutions that have ensured that leaders have a shared vision and have a sense of accountability.
Contact email: edmund.kagire[at]newtimes.co.rw