Rwanda national leadership retreat to discuss priorities

A few leaders chats during a break time at Umwiherero 2014

Rwanda national leadership retreat to discuss priorities

The twelfth annual National Leadership Retreat will bring 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. The retreat will be held at the Rwanda Defence Forces Combat Training Centre in Gabiro from 28 February – 2 March 2015.

Umwiherero, meaning retreat, refers to a tradition in Rwandan culture whereby leaders would convene to reflect on issues affecting their communities. The objective of these meetings was to identify solutions and commit to achieving them. Today, the concept has been adapted and refers to a gathering of the country’s senior leaders to solve ongoing challenges.

Now in its twelfth year, Umwiherero provides a unique opportunity for Rwanda’s leaders to reflect on the country’s progress and identify strategies to accelerate the delivery of national priorities. With only two years until the realisation of the 7-Year Government Programme, this year’s retreat will take stock on commitments made to citizens and discuss sectors that still require improvement in delivery of leaders’ promises. President Kagame will chair the retreat and deliver opening and closing remarks.

An estimated 250 leaders from Central Government, Local Government, parastatals and the private sector will attend. The retreat will include a presentation from the Prime Minister on the implementation status of 2014 Leadership Retreat recommendations. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning will present an update on the implementation of public investment projects and the CEO of the Rwanda Governance Board will present the Government Scorecard.

There will be four discussion topics at this year’s Umwiherero, including:

  1. Leaders’ accountability – Rethinking the government’s approach to delivery
  2. Leveraging Public Private Partnership to tap the full potential of the MICE sector
  3. Reviewing the performance of health systems and enhancing the quality of health service delivery
  4. Infrastructure development to support planned urbanisation

Kagame builds numerous international partnerships

Kagame meets Ninad Karpe, CEO of Aptech Ltd, of Mumbai, India (Photo: @NinadKarpe)

DIGITALJOURNAL.COM: President Paul Kagame says he has been traveling more frequently recently to create partnerships that bring solutions to Rwandas development challenges.

Kagame was on Tuesday (November 11) addressing locals of Jabana sector in Gasabo District of Rwandas capital Kigali. The visit is part of his regular community outreach programme.

When you see me travelling, it is not for leisure, Kagame said amid loud applause, in apparent response to recent concerns that he has been travelling a lot more than before. It is to build partnerships that will allow us to solve our challenges.

President Kagame has been travelling overseas for about 60 days searching for investors. His latest business trips took him to the UK, Dubai, South Korea, Indonesia and India.

While at the Global-Africa Investment Summit London, he presented 15 projects that require about $23billion to accelerate the countrys development agenda.

Kagame was seeking for $930.4million to fund road-construction. A new $700minternational-airport in Rwanda is in the works, as well as energy projects worth$2.7billion, and agribusiness. In India for example, Kagame promised investors a red-carpet reception and unlimited opportunities once they turned their investment focus towards Rwanda.

While in the United States in September, President Kagame secured Rwandaspresence on list of only five African countries that will benefit from a €2billion fund for clean energy. Kigali hopes to finance solar-projects and hydro-plants. Already, a multi-million-dollar green energy fund has been set up in the country.

In the United States still, the President also put pen to paper with U.S. firm Symbion Power for a 50MW Independent Power Production (IPP) project using methane gas from Lake Kivu.

Kagame said in his speech that the first railway-system was coming to Rwanda. Studies on the $1.2billion UgandaRwanda standard gauge railway started in July to be completed by July 2015.

The President said there should never be complacence about the prevailing stability and security in the country. In other places, bombs are exploding every day–in markets, reason why we should be proud to be Rwandans, said Kagame.

Meanwhile, at the same event as has become the routine with Presidential upcountry trips, the speech was followed by an interactive session during which ordinary people complained about actions of local leaders.

African women leaders learn from Rwanda

Rwandan women line up take part in a vote for National Womens Council in Kigali in July 2004 (Photo: Reuters)

TELESURTV.NET: The world has a lot to learn from female empowerment in Rwanda where sixty-four percent of its parliament consists of women – more than any other country in the world.

Female lawmakers from all over Africa traveled to Rwanda on Monday to begin a week-long “study tour.” The women will share their leadership ideas, exchange experiences from their time in parliament, and discuss ways to encourage female participation in politics within Africa and the world.

Some 50 female delegates are attending the conference from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burkina Faso, Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, Madagascar, Niger and Eritrea.

According to a Rwandan government statement, the theme for the five-day tour is “Building an Enabling Environment for Womens Economic Empowerment and Political Participation in Africa.”

Rwanda’s political engagement of women has been deemed a huge success. Sixty-four percent of its parliament is made up of women – occupying 45 out of the 80 seats. That is more than any other country in the world. The Rwandan Constitution also states that women must constitute no less than 30 percent of positions in the Legislature. Worldwide, women still represent only 21.9 percent of all elected parliamentarians.

Diana Ofwona, the United Nations women representative in Rwanda, and acting U.N. resident coordinator, said people have a lot to learn from the country in terms of women empowerment and political participation. In addressing the delegates in Rwandas capital of Kigali on Monday, Ofwona also challenged governments to remove all impediments to women empowerment and their ability to enter politics.

These deterrents come from existing cultural stereotypes that lead to gender discrimination and marginalization, says Donatile Mukabalisa, Speaker of Rwandan Parliament. Empowering women means breaking those stereotypes, she added.

The study tour is an joint-initiative by the African Union, the regional office of the United Nations Development Program, and the Forum of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians.