Paul Kagame | Rwandan politics should be results oriented – President Kagame
The President of Rwanda Paul Kagame has called upon government officials to be results oriented in everything they do.
The President made the remarks at the opening of the Ninth Annual Government Leadership Retreat that the Rwanda Military Academy in Gako, Bugesera District. The retreat is being attended by more than 250 officials. The retreat began on 3rd March 2012 and will end on 7th March 2012.
President Kagame challenged the officials to shift gears and implement decisions that impact and improve the lives of the ordinary people.
He required more results from the government, insisting that officials should spend more time on delivery and less on speech-making.
“Over the last one year, we have made a lot of improvement in different areas; yet it is my impression that we could even make or have made more progress. I keep thinking that we probably do less than we are actually capable of,” he said.
Such a demand from the president could be a surprise to many since the retreat come after few weeks of announcing that more than a million Rwandans crossed the poverty line in five years – due to the government’s 2008-2012 Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
The Head of state clearly demonstrated that there’s a lot of energy and capacity being employed currently, but they still fall short in certain areas in getting the results they should be getting.
He said there was urgent need for a change in the mindset, and urged government officials to move beyond “empty slogans and conjectures”.
“What should form the core of our discussion is about improving the lives of our people. By getting rid of poverty, you become more independent and freer,” he said.
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 power deficit.
“Do you need to attend thousands of seminars about 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.
“How many seminars do health workers need to attend to fight malnutrition? Don’t we all know what malnutrition is all about and what we need to do to address it?” He questioned why the government continues to lose both money and time on officials who continually go for international seminars, yet they hardly make good use of the acquired “knowledge and theory” to improve the people’s lives.
The five-day event is being held under the theme, “Consolidating Citizen-centred Development.”