President Paul Kagame has urged newly appointed Cabinet Ministers to embark on their new duties with a sense of urgency, bearing in mind the country’s targets and priorities.
The Head of State made the call on Tuesday afternoon after officiating the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed cabinet members, Eric Rwigamba, who is the Minister of the new docket of Public Investments and Privatisation and Ildephonse Musafiri, the Minister of State of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources.
The two officials took their oath of office following their appointment announced by the Prime Minister, Dr. Édouard Ngirente in a statement issued on July 30. Speaking at the ceremony, President Kagame says that while the two officials have already been serving in government in different capacities, their new responsibilities come with a desire to do things fast and efficiently.
The Head of State said that as the economy and the country in general continue to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the two sectors of trade and investment as well as agriculture, where the two officials were appointed, are key pillars of the economy.
“We are steadily recovering. The country is now fully open, most activities are now back on track. We’ve hosted a number of big meetings so far and there is more coming but we need to do more to advance and get where we want to be,”
“Congratulations to the newly appointed officials. I wish you all the best in your new roles. I trust that you will rely on your previous experiences, as public servants, to continue serving our country. Trade, public investment, and agriculture, are critical to our country’s development,” President Kagame said.
“As we continue working toward a resilient recovery from the Covid pandemic, these areas will be even more essential, to sustain the progress we have made,” he added.
President Kagame spoke about the newly created Ministry of Public Investments and Privatisation, stating that it was purposely established to look into how the government and its institutions invest and manage resources. On privatisation, he said the short-term goal is to identify which government assets need to be privatised urgently and hand them over to the private sector.
“The newly created Ministry of Public Investments and Privatization will ensure public enterprises are managed professionally, and are privatized over time. Above all, these enterprises must benefit all Rwandans,” he said.
The Head of State said that agriculture remains a key area of focus for the government, adding that though a lot has been achieved in the past, there is an urgent need to make the sector more productive, not just for food security but also to make it more resilient to deal with future shocks.
President Kagame also pointed out that the country needs to increase its agriculture export base and also prepare to tap into the opportunities brought about by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will open markets in many African countries.
“Agriculture remains a strong pillar of our economy. But it needs to be transformed and made more productive, to ensure we remain secure in the face of future shocks. We also want to take advantage of the growing opportunities for trade in food products and other goods and services, in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area,”
“Achieving our objectives requires each of us to do our part, with a sense of urgency and integrity. I cannot stress this enough: There are no shortcuts. Our development trajectory is clear on this. Institutions and leaders must work together, speed up our efforts, and remain accountable to citizens,” President Kagame said.
“Our goal is still the same, we still have a lot of challenges to deal with, the journey ahead is still long but we know what to do, and we have the means that we must use properly to get where we want to go,” he stressed.