President Paul Kagame is expected to chair the 16th edition of the National Leadership Retreat, which gets underway today at Rwanda Defence Force Combat Training Centre in Gabiro, Gatsibo District.
The 2019 annual retreat will run through March 12. It brings together senior leaders from Central Government, Local Government, parastatals and the private sector to discuss various issues of national development.
According to a government statement, President Kagame will chair the retreat and deliver opening and closing remarks.
Some of the leaders on arrival in Gabiro for the 16th National Leadership Retreat yesterday. Courtesy.
The four-day retreat will also feature a presentation from Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente on the implementation status of 2018 leadership retreat recommendations.
Among other things, leaders will reflect on Rwanda’s development trajectory, deliberate on how to improve the quality of education and health, efforts to increase agricultural productivity for growth, and ways to boosting exports growth and investments.
The Chairperson of the Rwanda Civil Society Platform, Jean Léonard Sekanyange, had earlier told The New Times that they were pushing for inclusion of civil society into the discussion, saying that it would add weight to the subjects at hand since they provide a different perspective.
“We have been lobbying to be invited and have not yet succeeded but we are hopeful that it will happen soon. Inviting our platform will shed light on some of the issues we encounter on a daily basis when it comes to government programmes and we have input that they may be useful during discussions,” he said.
The National Leadership Retreat, commonly known as Umwiherero (retreat), refers to a tradition in Rwandan culture whereby leaders would convene to reflect on issues affecting their communities.
The objective of these meetings was to identify solutions and commit to achieving them, government says.
Today, Umwiherero has become a unique governance tool that allows the country’s leaders to hold themselves accountable.
It provides them with an opportunity to reflect on the country’s progress and identify strategies to accelerate delivery of national priorities while solving ongoing challenges.