• Labour Day sees best performers awarded
GASABO - President Paul Kagame yesterday presided over Labour Day celebrations where he recognised best achievers with certificates and cash prizes ranging from Rwf 500,000 to Rwf 1mn.
During the presentation ceremony, President Kagame, however, challenged those who pick best achievers to think outside the box and start picking new faces.
For instance, Gerald Sina who owns Nyirangarama, an agro-food factory scooped the top prize for the second time, to which Kagame responded that there were many others “down there” or even in government institutions whose very good work is never recognized while they ought to be.
Naming the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, as one of those often left out, Kagame observed that it seemed that almost the same people were always being praised while others also very worthy of credit were overlooked.
The President pointed out that the immigration department has attained a commendable level in the use of advanced information technology and providing praise worthy services.
“I followed up on this (the Directorate) and if you don’t bring these people here I will bring them myself and thank them,” he said.
“What about that banana farmer down there who puts into practice all that you advise him and then harvests one weighing over a hundred kilograms? I want him here to be thanked,” President Kagame challenged the judges.
This year’s national Labour Day theme emphasized that productive work which is based on dialogue between employer and employee, is a source of development.
In his speech to mark Labour Day Kagame said enhancing workers’ skills and adopting quality working time are some of the vital basics for improving productivity.
Addressing thousands of employees and employers who had turned up for the Labour Day celebrations, Kagame noted that the occasion served as a reminder of what every country’s most important aim should be – excellent performance, which enables a worker to live well and make savings so as to improve his and the country’s wealth.
He noted that labour productivity in the country was still low compared to what is desired or compared to developed countries.
“The Workforce Development Authority should fulfil its objectives which include technical and vocational training,” Kagame said.
He emphasized that all parties involved, especially the new authority, should expedite plans meant to assist in skills development.
President Kagame, underscored that employees and employers ought to know that it is their work that gives them value, pointing out that if people don’t love work, then they don’t really love themselves.
Also stressed was the need to put in place legislation that facilitates investment in the country and thereby easing investment and job creation.
The Labour Bill that is currently being re-examined by Parliament has clauses that include maternity insurance and a proposal to increase working hours from 40 to 45.
Taking time to expound on the issue, Kagame, in support of the extra working hours underscored that it will boost productivity and hoped it would also be the springboard for progress.
As an example, he argued that if productivity was improved in one working hour, then it would be further augmented in extra working time.
Further still, the President gave a reminder that employees’ productivity increases when the latter work in a better, clean and healthy environment, which was the reason why employers should ensure that their workers are covered by different insurance packages.