The twelfth National Leadership Retreat ended, yesterday, with top civil servants recommitting to efficient service delivery and working harder toward achieving the country’s development goals.
About 300 leaders from the public and private sector spent the last three days pondering on how they performed since the last retreat and lay strategies going forward.
On the last day, the deliberations focused on health, protection of women children and leveraging public private partnership to tap the full potential of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events program (Mice).
While chairing the panel on health, President Paul Kagame called on officials from the Ministry of Health and their partners to improve the quality of health care.
“It is our mandate to put in place systems and clear mechanisms that ensure citizens wellbeing and welfare. Health is a priority and it must be given the urgency it deserves,” President Kagame said.
The panel comprised Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the minister for health, MP Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, and Dr Jean Dieudonne Gatsinga, who represented private medical operators.
The panel discussed the health challenges faced by Rwandans with the increase of malaria cases taking centre stage.
They came up with recommendations to curb malaria, including sensitising the population on how to prevent the disease and distributing mosquito nets.
The panel also discussed how to improve the community-based health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Sante. The scheme has been marred by poor management resulting into some local leaders including mayors having to step down.
The panel was moderated by Rose Rwabuhihi, the head of Gender Monitoring Office, and Zaina Nyiramatama, the executive secretary of the National Children Commission.
The retreat heard the status of gender-based violence and called on leaders to step up efforts and help fight the vice.
Condemning the rising cases of violence against women and children, Kagame urged leaders to take immediate action.
“Our government can’t tolerate gender-based violence. We cannot accept it. Every Rwandan should be educated and empowered to fight such intolerable behavior,” Kagame said.
Amb. Yamina Karitanyi, the head of tourism at Rwanda Development Board, led the final session of the day. On the panel, she was joined by Benjamin Gasamagera, the president of the Private Sector Federation, and Alphonse Umulisa, the head of Institute of National Museums.
The discussions focused on how to leverage public-private partnerships to tap into the full potential of Mice sector.
The Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Event strategy has been identified as a promising and potential sector that will contribute significantly to the economy in creating off-farm jobs and increasing foreign exchange revenue.
In his closing remarks, the President called on leaders to recommit to delivery by applying the lessons learned to fulfill their core responsibility to Rwandans.
“Let this retreat redefine the way we work and serve our citizens. Let us not leave behind the lessons (learned at the retreat). Apply the lessons as you go back to work,” he said.
The retreat resolved to end the cycle of corruption by bringing those involved to justice. The leaders also resolved to increase access to water in rural areas and put in place mechanisms to attract investments in infrastructure.