EASTERN PROVINCE - President Paul Kagame yesterday opened the fifth annual National Leadership Retreat with a call on Rwandan leaders to adjust their mindset in order to match the country’s development aspirations. The five-day retreat, taking place at the Akagera Game Lodge in the Eastern Province, is scheduled to focus on prioritisations in key sectors of Rwanda’s economy, in line with the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy.
President Kagame noted that much had been achieved in Rwanda so far and the country had reached a critical stage in terms of accelerating its economic growth and socioeconomic transformation.
He emphasized that further progress would depend on sustainability as well as greater accountability on individual and collective leadership. The danger of falling into complacency and stagnation demanded Rwandan leaders to adopt a new attitude based on results and accountability – the expectation for perpetual external assistance had no place this attitude.
While expressing the need for leaders gathered at the retreat to hold frank discussions on these critical issues, President Kagame noted that a results-oriented mindset would require focussing on real issues and implementing real solutions on the ground that deliver on Rwanda’s vision. He asked participants to consider the negative implications of non-performance on overall national objectives.
The President encouraged leaders not to be satisfied with modest achievements registered and instead take advantage of the current international goodwill as demonstrated by recent high profile visits to build a strong foundation for achieving real economic independence.
He urged Rwandan leaders to adopt more ambitious benchmarks by comparing themselves with more successful nations, as opposed to the underachievers: “Being a relatively “good” performer among bad performers is not good enough - we have to step up and move to the next level. We need to come away from this retreat having added strength to our decision-making processes.”
He also pointed out that all branches of the state – executive, legislative and judiciary have to play their respective roles more effectively while making use of the interdependency of institutions in order to achieve the shared national vision.
The retreat continues with discussions on trade and investment; skills development; infrastructure; land use and overall improved policy implementation.