The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: President Calls for Multiple Efforts to Devt

President Paul Kagame has said that it is a responsibility of every Rwandan to contribute to the development of the country and none should tolerate any form of failure no matter the situation.

The President was speaking at the annual Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast, organised by the Rwanda Leaders Fellowship (RLF).

The event was attended by senior government officials and business, religious leaders as well as senior officials from the US.

"We must do more than being thankful for our achievements; we must continue to work hard to achieve more. God gives you the basics only," said the President.

During the day's summon, the guest speaker, Prof. Vincent Chinedum Anigbogu, the Director General, Institute for National Transformation, spoke about Singapore's developmental journey since 1950s which President Kagame also referred to.

President Kagame noted that, "What God gave to Singapore is what has been given to all of us, what is left is for us to build on what we have to achieve more. We are not seeking to become Singapore but we can be like Singapore. We must have a vision of where we want to go and work harder towards to achieve it."

In his lecture about building a nation, the President observed that it is not about personal achievements that build country, rather collective progress, adding that progress would be diminished when it is not shared by all Rwandans.

President Kagame pointed out that, it's unfortunate that some of Rwanda's Partners in the West decided to freeze or cut development aid to the country but he hastened to add that recent development around aid is a lesson and a wakeup call to all Rwandans.

"They give us money from their citizens, but for how long should we be a burden of citizens of other countries? Dependency takes away our dignity and leaves behind an empty shell; the lesson is that we must double our efforts to achieve more than what we had projected. In this context, we cannot afford to walk, we must run," Kagame said, adding that Rwandans should never accept failure.

Without mentioning names, Kagame disclosed details of his interaction with western leaders where he said he was engaged in tense debates challenging the westerners on false accusations levelled against Rwanda about the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic Congo.

The President also criticised the enormous expenditure by the UN on MONUSCO where he observed that since the establishment of the mission, about US$20 billion has been spent on it yet there is practically no impact made by the mission.

"How can you spend money on anything and you are not bothered about what you get from the other side as an outcome? If you care then, what are the results? And if you claim that you made commitments to deal with the problem, did you succeed; did you fail, if so, how does Rwanda come into the equation?" the President questioned.

He wondered if there is anyone who could make a connection between the aid that was meant for Rwandans and the Congo crisis.

Also, President Kagame rallied Rwandans to live a life with purpose saying that, Rwandans must know what to live and die for. "I would rather be a victim of questioning than a victim of blind obedience."

Referring to countries that have assumed a responsibility to dictate what is right and wrong for Africa, President Kagame pointed out that Rwandans will not worship any anyone apart from God.

A delegation of five US Congressmen and Senators who were in the country for a two-day trade-related visit attended the Prayer Breakfast and praised the initiative.

At the event, which included praise and worship songs, leaders thanked God for the country's accomplishments in 2012, prayed for the 2013 development agenda, and dedicated the nation to God.

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