Rwanda: Don't Stay in Office - Kagame Tells Minister Gasore to Execute His Work on Field

13 September 2023

President Paul Kagame on Wednesday, September 13, advised new Minister of Infrastructure Jimmy Gasore to get out of the office and execute his responsibilities on the field, where the real issues affecting people are.

The President made the remarks during the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed minister. The office of the Prime Minister released a statement of his appointment on September 12. Gasore replaced Ernest Nsabimana who has been serving in this position since January 2022.

Kagame told Gasore that he was taking on normal responsibilities which are executable despite being quite a lot and sometimes demanding. The ministry oversees many institutions including Rwanda Transport and Development Agency, Rwanda Energy Group, Rwanda Housing Authority, Rwanda Airports Company, Water and Sanitation Corporation, among others.

"Don't be swayed by those who are into senseless speeches. Just do your work as you know how to. I think it's a general problem we have, Rwandans like talking more than doing. Some [leaders] are filled with pride and delegate their work to others, only to stay behind in offices without doing a follow-up," Kagame said.

He emphasized that while serving Rwandans, and the country, leaders should first put aside their personal interests, and prioritize improving people's livelihood, and in doing so, their own development can also be achieved.

Kagame also noted that unless there is tangible impact on the lives of the people, their efforts at work won't mean anything, no matter how excellent they think their work was.

It is high time leaders are held accountable for the work they sleep on yet the resources and capacity to executive it is available, he noted, highlighting that this can't be tolerated as it is a hindrance to development.

Gasore is a former lecturer at the University of Rwanda who taught atmospheric sciences. He was also the chief scientist for the Rwanda Climate Observatory and a research fellow at the Kigali Collaborative Research Center (KCRC). He holds a bachelor's degree in Physics from the National University of Rwanda (2008) and a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (February 2018).

From 2013, Gasore worked to set up the Rwanda Climate Observatory, a comprehensive field station that monitors atmospheric composition related to climate change, air pollution and ozone depletion. The station is part of the MIT lead Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), an international network measuring atmospheric composition using high-frequency on-site measurements with standardized protocols and instrumentations.

The Rwanda Climate Observatory is the only AGAGE station in Africa.

Gasore used the observations from these monitoring sites to estimate regional emissions of carbon dioxide and methane as part of his PhD thesis.

Between 2017 and 2018, Gasore led a Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) air quality monitoring project. He was responsible for setting up instruments to monitor the levels of pollutants and chemical composition of particulate matter in order to understand the drivers of air pollution in Rwanda and advise policy.

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