Members of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) must work harder and continue to shun corruption if the country is to achieve its economic development targets.
The call was made yesterday by President Paul Kagame during the RPF Political Bureau meeting that was attended by over 3000 members at Petit Stade in Kigali.
Kagame is the Chairman of the RPF.
“No member of RPF should use the party for their own gain or place their interest above the interest of Rwandans. As leaders, if you witness corruption and do not take action, you become a part of it,” Kagame said.
The President commended the achievements in the current year, where the economy grew by 7.8 per cent in the third quarter overtaking the 6 per cent projections.
“To achieve more growth is not just numbers; it is about the work you as leaders will have to put in for us to reach our goal. We have achieved growth but it is not enough; we must aim to achieve even more,” he said.
Rwanda aims to achieve an 11.5 per cent economic growth by the year 2017 and reduce poverty levels to 20 per cent by 2020 from the current 44 per cent.
President Kagame urged leaders to work hard in order to drive the country towards self-reliance for the sake of dignity since the country’s current budget depends on foreign aid at about 40 per cent, mainly from developed countries.
“We have to ask ourselves; why countries with 1 per cent growth are feeding countries with 8 per cent growth...this means we have to do more,” Kagame said, alluding to rich countries with slow economic growth which still help poor countries even if the latter have high economic growth.
On the agenda of the Political Bureau meeting, members were to receive reports on activities of the party, review plans and activities as well as talk about discipline of some party members.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, who gave a presentation about developing the country’s rural sector, emphasised the need to develop secondary cities in the country to drive urbanisation, create more off farm jobs, reduce poverty levels, and invest in both agriculture and agribusiness.
Under the country’s long-term development aspirations put down in a plan called Vision 2020, Rwandans who are employed in agriculture will be reduced to 50 per cent, down from the current 72 per cent.
Among other key areas of work, President Kagame urged party members to work harder to end child malnutrition, domestic violence, road accidents, and human trafficking.
He urged party members to always see themselves as the answers for the country’s challenges and work to address them.
“Without leaders who are considerate and understand the issues we will remain with problems. Let’s keep moving forward. It is about strong will and upholding our values,” he said.