Kagame Warns Leaders on Foreign Trips, Laxity

The UN Children’s agency UNICEF has warned that over three million children in South Sudan risk missing vaccination against measles as humanitarian funding for the world’s youngest country collapses.

UNICEF said the shortfall in funding (only $27 million of $128 million received) means that some 3.3 million children will not be vaccinated against measles, shop 260,000 children affected by conflict will not be supported to return to school, and efforts to reunify 7,300 separated children with their families will be halted.

“This forgotten emergency is threatening the lives of tens of thousands of children,” said a statement attributed to Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan and seen by ChimpReports on Monday.

“The reality is that without adequate support we will simply not be able to provide the services that are needed to prevent children dying from malnutrition, diarrhoea, malaria and vaccine-preventable diseases.”

South Sudan’s violent crisis is now in its third year and fighting has spread to previously peaceful areas in the west of the country, including Wau and Western Equatoria.

UNICEF warns that the peak of the lean season in May will bring with it the threat of famine to over 40,000 people in central Unity State that have been heavily affected by violence.

The aid agency says there is growing number of poor, urban families that are struggling to eat even one meal a day as a result of skyrocketing food prices.

It adds that child malnutrition rates the capital city Juba are three times higher than in surrounding rural areas.
Rwanda will no longer tolerate huge expenses incurred by government officials’ unnecessary foreign trips, sildenafil President Paul Kagame has warned.

“I have been patient about this but I have decided to cut my losses, ” said Kagame as he addressed the issue of accountability and wastage of resources especially through needless foreign travels by leaders.

“This has been going on for long and it has to stop.”

The president made the remarks this past weekend while opening the 13th National Leadership retreat taking place at the Gabiro Combat Training center in Gatsibo District, Rwanda.

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

“As we gather here, we should make sure we achieve results worth our time. 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 analysing the way we work, the way we use our resources and the time we take to do what we do,” said Kagame.

“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.”

Twenty years after the Rwandan Genocide, the country has become a development success story and unity and reconciliation have been consolidated, strengthening good governance in the medium term.

According to Africa Development Bank, Rwanda’s real GDP growth increased from 4.7 percent in 2013 to 7.0 percent in 2014, exceeding the programmed 6.0 percent and is projected to rise to 7.5 percent in both 2015 and 2016.

But President Kagame believes the successes cannot be consolidated if leaders rest on their laurels.

He urged leaders to 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.”


He urged leaders not to accept or tolerate mediocrity because it is not the way Rwandans should work in pursuit of solutions to their problems.

“We should not accept to stick to routine because this does not solve anything. 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 socialise but this should be extended to the place of work, we should get together with the aim of ameliorating service delivery,” he emphasised.

Rwanda is predominantly rural, with 83.0 percent of the 10.5 million Rwandans living in rural areas. Nationally, 26.9 percent of household output is sold, but over 70.0 percent of the population is still engaged in subsistence farming.

The Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy 2 (EDPRS 2) 2013-18 calls for expanding targeted economic zones and transforming Rwanda’s logistics system to strategically grow and promote exports.


President Kagame asked leaders to use the retreat as a time to discuss and share ideas which can be used to improve different sectors.

“We need to maximise this time so that we can achieve a lot out of it, we have to take this retreat serious and make changes in the way we execute our duties. We cannot merely count the number of retreats we have held when there is not much to show for it.”

President Kagame cited specific issues like the increase in street children, new buildings that don’t conform to modern standards and human trafficking as some of the 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.”

President Kagame also pointed out other issues like corruption; domestic violence and continued loss of law suits by Government which makes the government lose a lot of money in compensation in form of damages.

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 to be discussed during the three days include improving delivery towards the achievements of Vision 2020 targets, made In Rwanda: Revamping the Manufacturing Sector and the Rwandan Child: guaranteeing rights, promoting social welfare.


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