President Paul Kagame has, on Sunday, February 27, urged leaders from different sectors to be characterized by humility, bearing in mind that they should be exemplary.
The Head of State was delivering his remarks during the 27th edition of the annual National Prayer Breakfast that was held in hybrid format at Serena Hotel, in Kigali, and aired on the national broadcaster.
"It is not good to always listen and brag about your achievements, in reality, other people are the ones to speak about your achievement, not yourself. It is derived from what they saw you do, hence, acting upon it to develop themselves," he said.
Organized by Rwanda Leaders Fellowship (RLF), a not-for-profit organization, the annual prayer meeting brings together leaders in top positions for fellowship, to celebrate the country's achievements in the past year and reflect on milestones in the year ahead.
In attendance were President Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame and other top officials from different sectors as well as some senior religious leaders in the country.
In his message, Kagame pointed out that people learn from others and observe their actions to apply them in their daily lives to change their livelihoods.
"Leadership involves setting examples of which people see what you do and not only what you say. You are not supposed to talk when you don't actually base your actions on the good words you speak."
Another point by which people learn to develop themselves, Kagame said that tough moments produce strong people.
"The hardships that people go through are there to strengthen them. For them to listen, observe and find ways to live better during those hard moments," he said.
He called upon Rwandans to not waste the opportunity of having lived through these times that should have taught everlasting lessons for them.
He personified Rwanda as David of the Bible who fought and defeated giants.
There are no turbulences that the country hasn't yet faced, sometimes by the whole world, Kagame said, "we were caught up in some of them, others we escaped them."
He added: "The best thing I can do is to urge my people to stick to their business and do what is right for themselves that does not offend anyone but is for their improvement. That is what protects you from these daily and useless attacks from all corners."
Tribute to Dr Farmer, Ritchie
During the event, the President also took time to mourn the loss of two important friends of Rwanda, namely Dr. Paul Farmer and Joe Ritchie.
"They were friends who worked hand-in-hand with Rwandans, we lost them on two consecutive days. I wanted to take this moment to pay tribute to them," he said.
Farmer is the founder of Partners in Health which runs a number of hospitals in the country and he also founded the University for Global Health Equity located in Butaro, Burera District.
He died in Rwanda on February 21 and his body was expatriated to the United States on Thursday February 24 ahead of his burial.
Joe Ritchie also died earlier this week in the US, and was the founding CEO of Rwanda Development Board and has been the co-chair of the Presidential Advisory Council which offers strategic advice to President Kagame since 2007.
The Chairperson of Rwanda Leaders Fellowship, Eric Munyemana, said they wish that Rwanda becomes a nation that has the Lord as their God, a country that develops and that God is pleased with.
"To instill Godly principles in leadership is one of the pillars towards achieving that, we always look forward to positive transformation through meetings, teachings that are based on the Word of God, and pieces of advice given," he said.
Under the theme dubbed 'sustaining leadership results in unprecedented times', the prayer breakfast was also marked with a sermon delivered by Bishop David Odinge, which was entitled 'The power of resilience'.
Drawing from the story of David in the Bible, he highlighted three things that a leader should do in times of crisis, namely; reassess his or her position, refocus the vision, and reclaim the losses.
Senator Rose Mureshyankwano took the opportunity to give thanks to God for what the country has achieved in 2021.
They include; the leadership strategies that put in place measures to fight Covid-19 and Rwanda being among nations that are set to start manufacturing vaccines.
Including also, the Economic Recovery Fund that has helped in reviving businesses, some projects which received financing like the Kigali Innovation City project and other infrastructural projects, improved bilateral ties, among others.
She also gave thanks for 2021 being a year where Rwanda hosted various international competitions such as the AfroBasket, the Volleyball African Nations Championship, and others.
The prayer breakfast was supposed to be held at the beginning of January but was postponed after an upsurge in the Covid-19 cases, occasioned by the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the pandemic.
The national prayer breakfast was first held on September 1, 1995, and has since attracted leaders from different spheres of national life.