Kagame meets govt officials, AU experts to review progress

Monday February 27 2017
au experts

President Paul Kagame (green shirt) met with his team of experts tasked with driving reforms in the African Union in Kigali on February 26, 2017. PHOTO | URIGWIRO VILLAGE

Senior government officials, leaders of civil society and the private sector in Rwanda are meeting to discuss government performance.

At the National Leadership Retreat known as Umwiherero, leaders will appear before President Paul Kagame to give an update on his key promises, mainly on the economy, governance, justice, infrastructure, health and education.

Minister in the Office of the President Venantia Tugireyezu said the retreat would dwell on the progress of the country’s Vision 2020, improving service delivery, enhancing citizen’s satisfaction, settlement and urbanisation as well as human capital development.

Unlike the past retreats that lasted only two days, this year’s retreat runs from February 24 to March 2.

“Increasing the days will give us ample time for in-depth discussions and audience participation, because in the past retreats we would go there for two days and before you know it, the days are gone,” said Stella Ford Mugabo, the Minister for Cabinet Affairs.

It is anticipated that the focus will be on evaluating the campaign of promoting locally made products, dubbed “Made in Rwanda” at a time the country is suffering from a depreciating currency and a persistent trade deficit.


A large number of Rwandans rely on agriculture for their survival, but this is one of the sectors that has for the past few years experienced slow development, despite the government’s determination to modernise it.

AU reform team

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of Umwiherero, President Kagame met with his team of experts tasked with driving reforms in the African Union on Sunday.

The experts proposed an end to duplication of roles by various AU organs; the ceding of some roles to regional economic communities; efficient and effective management of the business of the continental body at both the political and operational level; and ensuring that they can be sustainably financed by member states.

The proposals were collated from views gathered from various experts and regional blocs, and contained in a report presented at the 28th AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by President Kagame last month.

“The 28th Summit of the African Union subsequently adopted the amended reform recommendations and mandated President Kagame to supervise the implementation process,” a statement from the Rwandan leader’s office read.

President Kagame is expected to table a report on the implementation progress at the next AU summit in July this year.

Those working with President Kagame on the reforms were Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank; Carlos Lopes, former executive secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Cristina Duarte, former minister for finance and planning of Cape Verde.

Other members were Strive Masiyiwa, executive chair of Econet Wireless; Tito Mboweni, former governor of the South African Reserve Bank; Amina J. Mohammed, Minister for Environment of Nigeria; Mariam Mahamat Nour, Minister for Economy, Planning and International Co-operation of Chad and Vera Songwe, regional director for West and Central Africa at the International Finance Corporation.

Additional reporting by Edmund Kagire.