The last day of the 10th National Leadership Retreat focused on infrastructure, human capacity development and the improvement of public service delivery.
President Kagame urged all public service officials to look beyond presentations on achievements and to keep an open mind to the kind of learning that will lead to the change Rwanda wants:
“We know what we want and we should not be adverse to learning. If we are sure of where we want to go and what it takes for us to get there, why should it be difficult? It is about having the right attitude.”
On the issue of the obstacles Rwanda continues to face, President Kagame told the leaders present to consider it motivation to achieve even more:
“Injustices are a reminder, they keep waking you up and push you to give your all.”
Key to economic growth, infrastructure remains a priority in the implementation of EDPRS 2. Minister Silas Lwakabamba of the Ministry of Infrastructure shared with the participants key priorities for the next five years that include urbanisation, rural resettlement, energy and transport.
Minister Lwakabamba explained EDPRS 2 plans to develop secondary cities across the country, increase financing and supply of affordable housing as well as improve infrastructure for the increasing population in urban areas. He also pointed to appropriate transport as a critical focus of infrastructure development citing air cargo as a key target for EDPRS 2.
In addition to developing physical infrastructure, EDPRS 2 aims to consolidate achievements in education with a particular focus on vocational training in priority areas of economic development. In his presentation, Minister of Education Vincent Biruta emphasized the importance of changing the mindset that leads young people to consider vocational training as less valuable education:
“Youth should know that education is not simply about a degree. Vocational training will be a crucial contribution to achieving the targets set out in EDPRS 2.”
Minister Anasthase Murekezi of the Ministry of Labor and Public Service and Dr. John-Mary Kauzya,Chief of Public Administration of the Capacity Branch at UNDESA made presentations on human resource development. Both emphasized the importance of a clear system of public service performance evaluation in ensuring good results.
Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, the Government spokesperson discussed the need for Rwanda to tell its own story and define its own image on the global stage rather than rely on often biased international reports.
President Kagame gave the example of the arbitrary nature of certain international rankings that claim to have the monopoly of defining what constitutes human rights:
“Human rights are rights all of us live, they are not rights people must know because they have been lectured by a handfull of people from elsewhere. Human rights issues have become politicized.”
The retreat ended with renewed energy and commitment from leaders to better serve Rwandans.