On the last day of the 12th National Leadership Retreat that brought together 300 leaders from both the public and private sector in Rwanda, discussions focused on health, the protection of women children and leveraging public private partnerships to tap the full potential of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) sector.
While chairing the morning panel discussions on health, President Paul Kagame called on the Ministry of Health as well as concerned institutions to streamline activities in the sector to improve the quality of healthcare provided to Rwandans.
“It is our mandate to put in place systems and clear mechanisms that ensure citizens wellbeing and welfare. Health is a priority and it must be given the urgency it deserves,” said President Kagame.
Panellists included Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, the Minister of Health, Hon. Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, MP in Lower House of Parliament, and Dr. Jean Dieudonne Gatsinga, representing private medical operators. They discussed the measures needed to curb the rise in malaria cases that has occurred over the last two years. Some of the main challenges identified include raising awareness about health issues as well as the distribution and use of mosquito nets. The panel also discussed the need to improve the efficiency of the Mutuelle de Sante community health insurance scheme.
A second panel discussion on women and child protection was moderated by Rose Rwabuhihi, Head of the Gender Monitoring Office and Zaina Nyiramatama, the Executive Secretary of the National Children’s Commission. They presented the status of gender based violence in the country and called on all leaders to step up efforts to continue the fight against gender based violence (GBV).
Condemning the rise in cases of violence against women and children, President Kagame urged all leaders to take immediate action:
“Our government can’t tolerate gender based violence. We cannot accept it. Every Rwandan should be educated and empowered to fight such intolerable behaviour.”
The final panel discussion of the day was led by Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, Head of Tourism at the Rwanda Development Board, Benjamin Gasamagera, President of the Private Sector Federation and Alphonse Umulisa, Head of the Institute of National Museums. The panel discussed leveraging public private partnerships to tap into the full potential of the MICE sector.
The Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events industry has been identified as a promising sector that will contribute significantly to the economy in creating off-farm jobs and increasing foreign exchange revenue.
In his closing remarks to the retreat, President Kagame called on leaders to recommit to delivery and apply the lessons learned to fulfil their core responsibilities to Rwandans.
“Let this retreat redefine the way we work and serve our citizens. Let us not leave behind lessons. Keep thinking about it and apply the lessons as you go back to work,” he said.
The 12th Umwiherero resolved to:
- End the cycle of corruption by bringing those involved to justice
- Increase access to water in rural areas
- Improve the country’s business environment to increase investment in infrastructure
- Improve health services
- Lower the rates of malaria
- Increase efforts to fight against gender based violence
- Improve the service sector to ensure the success of the MICE Strategy
- Photos from the leadership retreat can be viewed on the Government of Rwanda and Paul Kagame Flickr accounts.
- President Kagame’s opening remarks can be watched here.