Kagame challenges officials to do more to defeat poverty

GAKO – President Paul Kagame has demanded more results from his government, insisting they should spend more time on delivery and less on rhetoric.
President Kagame addressing the 9th Annual Leadership Retreat in Gako. The New Times/Village Urugwiro.
President Kagame addressing the 9th Annual Leadership Retreat in Gako. The New Times/Village Urugwiro.

GAKO – President Paul Kagame has demanded more results from his government, insisting they should spend more time on delivery and less on rhetoric.

He was speaking at the Ninth Annual Leadership Retreat at the Rwanda Military Academy in Gako, Bugesera District.

“These meetings should not be an end in themselves...it is my impression that we could even make more progress if we implemented everything as we say it,” Kagame told more than 250 participants, including senior government officials, local leaders, lawmakers as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society.

The Head of State was particularly incensed that little progress had been made in the energy sector despite the countless presentations and seminars on what needed to be done to fix the country’s energy challenges.

“Do you need to attend thousands of seminars on the lack of electricity in Rwanda? I always read, in newspapers, officials saying ‘we are going to have so much electricity in 30 years’; no, I want it now...,” he insisted.

Energy is one of the areas the retreat will discuss at length, along with customer service and poverty reduction.

Kagame also took a swipe at those he referred to as “debate professors”, saying endless debates were “useless”, and instead called for concrete actions that will help lift millions of Rwandans out of poverty.

He also spoke more broadly in the African context, saying the continent must not accept “lectures” from developed countries about what it needed to do and not.

The President further cited customer service as one of the key areas where Rwandans need to put a lot of emphasis.

The National Retreat (Umwiherero) is a home-grown initiative that seeks to take stock of government achievements over the previous year and set priorities and lay strategies for the year ahead.

Apart from the opening and closing sessions, the five-day gathering will be held behind curtains.

munyanezason@yahoo.com

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