RUBAVU - Senior Government officials have created three clusters that will facilitate the implementation of resolutions made during the five-day retreat that ended yesterday in Rubavu, Western Province.
The clusters formed are on economic, good governance and social related issues all aimed at enhancing service delivery.
Conducted under the theme: ‘Beyond Aid: Changing Mindset for Delivery and Development’, the retreat which was chaired by President Paul Kagame, brought together over 200 top government officials that included Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Rwanda’s Ambassadors abroad, and heads of government agencies.
Speaking to the press after the retreat, the Minister of Information, Louise Mushikiwabo, said that the discussions centred on how to improve on work towards development, the possible challenges likely to be encountered and how to face them towards good service delivery.
“All of what we discussed and achieved here aimed at how we can get rid of foreign aid dependency,” she said.
Mushikiwabo who is also the government spokesperson remarked that the five days retreat allowed them to create the clusters through which all they discussed will be solved.
“The Ministry of Information was tasked to let Rwandans know how leaders put into practice what we discussed,” she added.
State Minister in charge of Mines Vincent Karega, who heads the economic cluster, pointed out that the country needs to boost investment and the labour market to carry on with the war to reduce aid dependency.
Karega emphasised that Rwanda exports almost half of what she imports, while about 50 percent of the national budget comes from foreign aid, this, he said, is a very serious challenge to face while on the route towards sustainable development.
“Countries that don’t rely on aid are actually the ones which produce more,” he said.
The government also reiterated the need to increase the human capacity through building skills and development.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera who heads the social cluster, said that more emphasis is going to be put on the Rwanda Workforce Development Agency (WDA) that leads the way to vocational training centres, in order to fill the gap of qualified human resources.
“The gap is as high as 97 percent. We have a very serious challenge,” he said.
The retreat restated the zero tolerance on corruption, and warned that whoever indulges in it will always face justice and be dealt with.
According to Minister Protais Musoni in charge of the good governance cluster, Rwanda is listed among five least corrupt countries in Africa, and added that more efforts were required to uproot it out to pave way for development.
“The less corrupt you are, the more investment you attract,” he said.
Just before they went to the sixth annual retreat, members of the government had attended a lecture in Kigali by a Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, author of the book “Dead Aid.”
In this book, Moyo shows how foreign aid has never effectively helped any country to develop, and proposed that countries try to get rid of it if they are to attain any development.
Held annually, the National Leadership Retreat took place at the Kivu Serena Hotel for the first time. It is usually held at Akagera Game Lodge in the Eastern Province, but it is currently undergoing renovation.