• President Paul Kagame has called on leaders to cease sticking to routines arguing that this does not solve anything.

    After all, Albert Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    “We cannot accept the stance of business as usual and take this as a normal way of life. When we come to this retreat we do get together and socialize but this should be extended to the place of work, we should get together with the aim of ameliorating service delivery," President Kagame said.

    He said this when he opened the 13th National Leadership retreat last week at the Gabiro Combat Training center in Gatsibo District.

    The President also welcomed the newly elected district Mayors, noting that Rwandans had expectations of new ways of working from their new leaders.

    He called on the leaders to utilize their time well in order to achieve results. “We are here to devise ways of changing our working style in order to achieve better results. We are seeking efficiency in our work, by analyzing the way we work, the way we use our resources and the time we take to do what we do. We also seek improvement, we have to look back and examine where we were yesterday and compare this to where we are today and look for better ways of doing things."

    Speaking on the importance of accountability, the head of state said they need to make changes in the way they execute their duties and not merely counting the number of retreats they have held when there is not much to show for it. He also cautioned against wastage of resources especially through unnecessary foreign travels by leaders.

    The Rwandan leader who is seeking a third presidential term cited the specific issues that they need to urgently address like the increase in street children, new buildings that don’t conform to modern standards. He also spoke widely on human trafficking. He said these are some lapses in efficiency in different sectors of public service and pointed out that these are issues that should be discussed during the retreat where solutions should be found and implemented.

    "Some of these things only need observation, not resources but we fail to execute them. We don't need donors to give us eyes to see our problems and solve them. We only need to see them and correct them but we also fail to do this."

    On corruption, domestic violence and continued loss of lawsuits by Government the head of state pointed out these issues makes the government lose a lot of money in compensation in the form of damages.

    President Kagame asked leaders not to rest on their laurels when Rwanda is highly rated in its performance or praised but instead draw energy from the recognition and mention to do even better.

    "We need to have this dynamic process of doing things ourselves. We should never rely on anybody else to solve our problems. We can achieve a lot through partnerships but the only person to rely on is yourself."

    The 2016 annual National Leadership Retreat brings together Rwanda’s senior leaders to discuss national priorities, affirm the country’s shared vision to become a knowledge-driven, middle-income country by 2020 and renew momentum to achieve development objectives. An estimated 250 leaders from Central Government, Local Government, parastatals and the private sector are in attendance. Key topics discussed during the three-day retreat include: improving delivery towards the achievements of Vision 2020 targets, made in Rwanda; Revamping the Manufacturing Sector and the Rwandan Child; guaranteeing rights, and promoting social welfare. 

    Image credit: Facebook – PaulKagame