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President Paul Kagame described 2016 as “good year”, as far as Rwanda’s development targets are concerned, and expressed optimism that with increased commitment from leaders and all Rwandans, the country was bound to register greater achievements in the coming year.

H.E Paul Kagame yesterday addressing the gathering at Kigali Convention Center
H.E Paul Kagame yesterday addressing the gathering at Kigali Convention Center

The President was speaking at the 21st edition of the National Prayer Breakfast held yesterday at the Kigali Convention Centre.

Organised by Rwanda Leaders’ Fellowship (RLF), the prayer event themed “Fulfilling our divine destiny by serving our nation” brought together leaders from the public and private sector as well as civil society.

Lambert Bariho, one of the participants who led a thanksgiving prayer segment outlined a number of milestones that the country achieved last year, including the completion of the iconic Kigali Convention Centre, the introduction of several five-star hotel brands such as Radisson Blu and Marriot into the Rwandan market, the successful hosting of the African Union Summit, World Economic Forum on Africa, the 28th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol and the African Nations Championship (CHAN 2016).

Other milestones achieved last year included the launch of Bugesera airport construction project and having the German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) commit to start assembling cars in Rwanda.

During his keynote, President Kagame acknowledged that although the country registered commendable strides in 2016, Rwandans have the ability to achieve even greater milestones in 2017.

“Many good things happened last year. I say this with hope and conviction that as we start 2017, we will be able to move forward with the same values that enabled us to accomplish the many things we managed to undertake in 2016.”

“We must work with those around us with whom we share values and challenges and do as much as we can to invest in transforming the lives of Rwandans.” Kagame added.

Kagame also told leaders gathered at the event that working for God means working for the benefit of those they serve adding that leaders must care enough about the wellbeing of the people they serve in order to achieve national development.

“The first form of wealth is people before resources,” Kagame said.

Kagame told participating leaders that there is a correlation between working for God and working for nations. He said that leaders must care enough about the wellbeing of the people they serve in order to achieve national development.

He urged Rwandans to cultivate a mindset of self-belief, saying that they have all they need in them to play an integral role in the transformation of the country.

“When God created us he did not put us in categories from superior to inferior. We are all created equal in ability. Africans, Rwandans, must change the way we think; we must re-evaluate our mindset, our values…the earlier we start doing something about this the better.

“If we wait upon others to do for us what we should do for ourselves, what will we achieve? Staying in a position of being eternally grateful to others without graduating to doing things yourself can play no significant role in our development,” Kagame reiterated.

Reminding them that they are equal in capacity and opportunity, Kagame challenged the youth to rise up to the challenge:

“To the young leaders, you are the leaders of today and tomorrow; God gave you abundant abilities, which you should use for your own good and for the good of others,” he said.

John Mulinde a Ugandan evangelist said that what Rwanda has gone through “should serve to remind the nation that God is willing to continue blessing the nation if everyone uses their gifts for the glory of God.”

According to Dr. Antoine Rutayisire, Chairperson of the RLF, the forum is derived from the belief and conviction that leadership and specifically good leadership come from God; who molds the character of leadership hence the motto of the forum; “Instilling Godly Values in Leadership”.

The New Times