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Rwandans calling for 'sense of urgency' to fast-track development

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda president Paul Kagame on Saturday urged the top government leadership to step out of the comfort zones and spearhead the country’s social and economic development.

He made the call while opening the 14th National Leadership Retreat in Gabiro, Eastern Province.

Top leaders from the central and local government and members of the private sector and civil society have converged here for a five-day leadership retreat that started Saturday.

The leadership retreat aims to evaluate the government’s implementation of the country’s Vision 2020 and to discuss how to design Vision 2050 as mandated in the National Dialogue held December last year.

"We keep congratulating ourselves for good results but why don’t you do more of what you are capable of doing," Kagame told the leaders.

He emphasized the need to establish a solid platform to enable leaders to co-operate and have a sense of urgency towards fast-tracking the country’s ambitious development programs.

"Our tragic history means that we can not move at the same pace as others.

"It requires us to have a sense of urgency," the Rwandan leader said.

This year’s retreat came a few months away from the completion of the seven-year program that guided the work of the current leadership and the second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2).

EDPRS2 main objective is to put Rwanda on a higher growth trajectory, in order to deliver the country to a middle-income status envisioned in Vision 2020.

The small central African country also targets to increase private sector investments to 15.4 percent of the GDP.

According to the 2017 World Bank report, Rwanda has the potential to be one of Africa’s great success stories given its dynamic social and economic transformation.

Under current initial plan towards Vision 2050, Rwanda is projected to be an upper-middle-income country by 2035 with a per capita annual income of more than 4,000 U.S. dollars, while it will be a high income economy by 2050 when every Rwandan will be earning at least 12,000 dollars a year.

Currently, Rwanda’s annual per capita income is estimated at around 720 dollars, nevertheless the economy will need to be at an average annual growth of above 10 percent, if Vision 2050 is to be achieved.

This year’s retreat that has convened together about 300 leaders will conclude on Wednesday next week.


Rwanda president urges military to fortify national sovereignty

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda President Paul Kagame has called on the country’s army to provide security guarantee and protect territorial integrity for building well-off society.

He made the remarks on Thursday while presiding over the pass-out ceremony 478 Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) officer cadets who successfully completed a one-year military training course at the Rwanda Military Academy (RMA) in Gako, Bugesera district, Eastern Province.

Among the new cadet officers, 68 are women.

Kagame underscored the need to engage the sense of responsibility of security organs as a whole to participate in building and strengthening national defense.

"Protecting our sovereignty means working for the development of every Rwandan and ensuring that no one is left behind.

"True sovereignty means the well being and dignity of our citizens," said the president.

"It is your responsibility to protect the sovereignty of our country but most importantly, our citizens."

Senior government officials, military and families of the cadets attended the ceremony where advanced military skills were displayed by the graduates.

The Rwanda Defense Forces’s history of heroism is especially enriched by the act of stopping the 1994 genocide in Rwanda among other things that have helped towards the transformation of Rwanda into a stable state.


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