Rwanda made a significant headway towards economic development across different sectors over the last seven year. While giving an update on the seven-year government development blueprint dubbed National Strategy for Transformation (NST 1), the Prime Minister said this week that a lot was achieved despite challenges that were encountered. ALSO READ NST1: How has Rwanda fared in achieving seven-year plan? For context, the seven-year plan spanned from 2017-2024, a period during which the country encountered numerous shocks that were both internal and external in nature, for example the Covid-19 outbreak, the Russia-Ukraine war and unpredictable weather conditions. The unpredictable weather conditions mainly attributed to climate change, not only led to loss of lives and destruction of property through floods, but also greatly affected food production in the country. Despite these mishaps, the country managed to record an average growth of 6.9 per cent, a major achievement given that the country’s economic growth dwindled up to -3.5 per cent in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. ALSO READ PHOTOS: Umushyikirano 2024 in pictures The most exciting thing from the Prime Minister’s presentation was the remarkable achievements registered in realising key economic enablers like electricity where the number of connected households grew from 33 per cent to 74 per cent currently. Others include the exponential growth in internet penetration, development of road infrastructure especially feeder roads that were built to connect different communities that were previously isolated, among others. With these enablers now firmly in place, we expect even more robust growth in the coming years but then this will require effort by both the leaders and the citizenry to optimise the infrastructure to drive economic growth. ALSO READ: Umushyikirano 19: We shall defend Rwanda at all cost It is not enough to have the country’s remotest village connected to both electricity and high-speed internet. You must prepare the people in that community to leverage the infrastructure to improve their livelihood. This therefore needs commitment from the leadership all the way to the grassroot level, a leadership that does not procrastinate nor try to delegate their responsibility but one that takes initiative to deliver better for the people. Fortunately, this was the key takeaway from Umushyikirano as it came to an end, where the Head of State cautioned leaders who attended the annual meeting that the duty to define the country’s development path lies with them, and no one else. Therefore, as we embark on NST 2, our work is clearly cut out for us to significantly improve the quality of every Rwandan citizen.