Kagame opens Umushyikirano 2018

A cross section of leaders attending Umushyikirano 2018 at Kigali Convention Centre. The meeting will for two days discuss the transformation of the citizens' welfare. / Nadège Imbabazi

President Paul Kagame on Thursday presided over the opening of the 16th National Umushyikirano that will specifically focus on the transformation of citizens’ welfare. 

Participants at the meeting include members of the Cabinet and Parliament, representatives of the Rwandan community abroad, local government, Civil Society Organisations, and the diplomatic community.

The Head of State chairs the annual meeting as provided for by the constitution.

While opening the meeting, Kagame said that Umushyikirano is a unique Rwandan institution that is about bringing all nationals together to review the State of the Nation over the past year, and exchange ideas about the way forward.

“We owe all the good results we have achieved towards socio-economic transformation to your hard work. I thank every Rwandan for what has been achieved. We are better off than we have ever been, and we are on the right path,” he told the participants.

Chief Justice Prof Sam Rugege at Umushyikirano 2018. Nadège Imbabazi.

Participants include members of the Cabinet and Parliament, representatives of the Diaspora, local government, Civil Society, security organs, and the diplomatic community. / Nadège Imbabazi

Umushyikirano takes place annually and the President delivers the State of the Nation Address. / Nadège Imbabazi

During the State of the Nation address, President Kagame touched on different issues including on international cooperation, where he said Rwanda played a role in different aspects including holding the chairmanship of the African Union during which a lot was done.

Some of the achievements under President Kagame’s chairmanship of the African Union including the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which was signed in Kigali in March this year.

AfCFTA will once fully implemented, create the largest trading bloc in the world.

On what was achieved during his Chairmanship of the continental body, Kagame said: “Cooperation with others is also aimed at transforming our country. When we are trusted with a responsibility, we do everything we can to fulfill it.”

Some of the key panel discussions at the meeting include one dubbed “Connected Communities: Partnering for Growth” that focused on the need for a greater community ownership and mindset change towards national development.

Another panel will discuss the preservation of memory of Genocide through upholding of Rwandan values to be facilitated by the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).