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this geneva;”>“…our problem is dependence. As long as you are dependent, those who feed you believe they own you,” he added.
“Without self reliance, some will feel they have the right to make you carry their burden and blame you for their failure. We cannot be people who accept to be submissive.”
Kagame was giving a key opening speech at the three-day National Leadership Retreat in Gatsibo on Thursday afternoon.
This retreat will focus on strategies to accelerate growth and achieve the targets set out in EDPRS 2.
Kagame told leaders, “When they ask who are you to speak up for yourselves, tell them who you are, we cannot be silent.”
“Some wonder who we think we are to believe in our right to defend ourselves. Some look at Rwanda as a country that wants too much independence and stands in the way of certain interests,” he noted.
Kagame observed, “This is no longer a resigned Rwanda where Rwandans did not believe they could aspire to be like others,” adding, “We are not different, we have the same aspirations and I am sure it is the same aspiration for Africa and the same aspiration those in developed world have had.”
He added: “This is the struggle; we want 11 percent growth to ensure that Rwandans lead the life they deserve.”
The President blasted some quarters which believe “they have the right to decide the leader in a court in another country.”
He maintained Rwandans cannot blame anyone else when we accept this perception and fulfill their expectations.
Kagame emphasized Africans are expected to be like Mali and CAR, “be thankful for external intervention and international justice.”
On the DRC crisis, the President wondered: “How can we be responsible for Rwandaphones living in the Congo, the question is who took them there?”
Rwanda has been in the eye of the storm following a UN report that reported Kigali was supporting M23 rebels in DRC. Rwanda denies the charge.
The RPF leader said Rwanda has “a different starting point and different challenges that we must address in our own way,” adding, “Some can achieve 1 percent growth and consider it enough.”
“We have achieved 8 percent but we must work even harder and faster to reach our goals. We need to plan and we need implementation of our plans if we want to move forward. If you don’t let your strengths complement each other, we will only achieve a small percentage of our goals,” he added.
Kagame noted that “without working together, we will not achieve our full potential and will not reach the targets we have set for ourselves.”
He said people will believe when they see results. “That is your duty as leader. You don’t do it for them but with them. We must believe, as leaders we must make others believe that we can aspire and that we can achieve.”
The President said this retreat is an opportunity for Rwandans to examine their challenges and move forward towards achieving the country’s goals.
This morning in Gatsibo, over two hundred national leaders are gathered for the 10th National Leadership Retreat
According to Prime Minister Damien Habumuremyi, EDPRS2 key areas of discussion are economic transformation, rural development for poverty reduction, job creation for youth and accountable governance.
Vision 2020 targets also include 1.8 million new off-farm jobs and a 35 percent of the population in urban centres.
EDPRS2 also aims to eliminate extreme poverty, transform Rwanda into middle income country with 11.5 percent GDP growth and $1200 GDP per capita by 2020.
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete said as part of job creation, over 1,200 women were facilitated to open businesses and close to 60,000 people were given access to loans.
“In 2012,264 Hanga Umurimo projects were created with a projection of close to 5000 jobs to be created,” he said.
Other priority areas of the 2012 National Leadership Retreat include: job creation, agriculture and health services.