1 September 2017

Rwanda: Kagame to Cabinet - We Must Do Things Differently

Photo: New Times
President Paul Kagame and members of the new cabinet.

After officiating the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet, President Kagame called on ministers to do things differently.

He reminded them that there is no room for complacency in Rwanda and that as leaders; a lot is expected of them.

Rwanda, Kagame said, faces unique challenges including being landlocked and this calls for extra efforts if the country is to successfully achieve its development ambitions.

"We face challenges that are different from our neighboring countries. To solve these issues, we need to do things differently. We can't afford to live in a comfort zone," the President said.

The swearing in ceremony took place yesterday in the Parliament Buildings.

The President cautioned the Ministers against any form of mediocrity, saying they must give their best.

"You must strive to always do more, work faster and better. As government, we owe this to our people," Kagame said, noting that Rwanda's uniqueness is its ability to deliver on promises with no shortcuts.

In demanding a different work ethic in his new mandate, President Kagame cited examples of what is unacceptable from leaders.

Mismanagement of funds and public resources and not holding accountable those involved saw the Ministry of Justice and Infrastructure come in the spotlight.

The Ministry of Education was also singled out for having three cabinet members but their communication and coordination was found to be lacking.

"We cannot afford to have people who are supposed to be working together, but do not communicate. This must change," the President said.

"Communication, coordination and collaboration are key to building the Rwanda we want," he added.

The President told the ministers that Rwandans want improvements across all sectors, be it health, education, infrastructure or justice.

Kagame pointed out that what he is asking for is not the impossible, but deliverables that are within our capacities.

"I am not asking anyone to do the impossible. We need to work smartly and efficiently. The opposite is very costly," he added.

"It is the duty of each of us to fight the culture of people working as they please," the President said, pointing that you do not need donor support to communicate or collaborate more efficiently.

Kagame reminded the new cabinet that the foundation for progress has already been laid and he is looking forward to working with them to build on the existing achievements.

The President thanked the ministers for accepting to serve their country.

The new cabinet members promised to work harder and faster.

The new Minister for Public Service and Labour, Rwanyindo, told reporters that she will focus on youth, working with them to create jobs.

Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, the minister of state for infrastructure in charge of transportation, told The New Times that the transportation sector is vital to Rwandans adding that he will continue to continue with the progress.

"We will have to build on what has been achieved so far and even do better," Uwihanganye said.

Marie-Solange Kayisire, who was named minister for cabinet affairs, said she will emphasize teamwork.

Twenty-eight Cabinet members took oath of office - 18 of them ministers and 10 minsters of state. Three cabinet members were not available and will take their oath at a later date.

New Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente was sworn-in, a day before on Wednesday.

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