Rwanda Govt unveils 16th Umwiherero Topics

The 16th national leadership retreat this year coincides with the 25th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Two and a half decades later, Rwanda has made substantial progress in the economy, social and governance sectors.

Attaining vision 2050 will require accelerating efforts to achieve double-digit average annual growth rates.

If growth falls below this, ambitions of becoming an upper middle income country would be pushed back by a decade.

One year after the implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation

(NST1), leaders at the retreat will discuss areas that address key pillars of the

Strategy.

Topics will focus on a sustainable transition to more secure livelihoods

and an exit from poverty, strengthening efforts in human capital to improve

outcomes in education and health care, driving upward economic growth through

increased productivity in agriculture, boosting exports, which are all continued

interventions designed to push the country towards upper middle income status.

Discussion topics

Topic 1: A reflection on Rwanda’s development trajectory

The progress we have registered as a country over the years has been driven by

the choices Rwandans have made to think big, be united and be accountable,

which has fueled our resilience and instilled a sense of common purpose.

Despite the progress made over the years, the road ahead is still arduous. This

session will seek to take audit of past successes and failures, drawing lessons for

areas of focus and accelerated implementation.

Discussions will focus on values and principles that we must embrace to

consolidate achievements made over the years, learning from mistakes in order

to lay a strong foundation for the future generations. Central to this topic is the

need for better planning, greater ownership and accountability.

Additionally, the session will discuss strategies to fast track graduation from

extreme poverty.

This discussion will build on recent conversations at the recent Umushyikirano

meeting (2018) regarding new approaches to fast track graduation from extreme

poverty and concrete initiatives in the implementation of social protection

programs.

Discussions will focus on:

» Reviewing persistent delivery challenges

» Improving planning processes across institutions

» Issues relating to Ubudehe categorization

» Mechanisms to mitigate against shocks including climate change and

human security

Topic 2: Improving the quality of education

Over the past fifteen years, notable developments have been made in the education

sector.

The number of students in primary schools increased by 34% between

2001 and 2011.

Increase in primary enrolment also heightened demand for equitable access in secondary education, and government extended the program to 12 years of basic education.

 However, education for all did not necessarily translate into improved quality of teaching and learning.

Recent studies have highlighted key areas for concern in delivery of quality education and implementation of government programs in the education sector.

For example, the Human Capital Index (HCI), Rwanda ranks 142 out of 157

countries.

 Rwanda’s HCI is lower than the average for the region and lower than the average for its income group.

An estimated 22% of children attending primary school repeated the class they were attending in 2015, according to EICV5 2017.

Only 23% of persons aged 13 to 18 years attend secondary school in Rwanda. Tertiary education level in Rwanda is only 3% and technical/vocational education decreased by 1% from 2013-2017.

If this trend continues, we will not attain the NST1 target which is to have at least 60% of students completing the 9BE join TVET schools by 2024.

Discussions will focus on:

» Structural issues and planning for the education sector

» Efforts to reduce repetition and dropout rates and increase enrollment in secondary schools

» Improving quality in teacher training and use of ICT in teaching

» Quality of education from Primary Education to Tertiary Education

Topic 3: Improving the quality of health

This session will focus on the recurring challenge of quality in health care services and the need to improve performance in service delivery. Today, access to health care services has increased with over 85% coverage of health centers in all sectors across the country and efforts to establish health posts in each cell.

Despite progress made in access, poor delivery of services to patients (patient

experience/package) risks continue to derail existing efforts in the sector.

Furthermore, health facilities continue to face prolonged patient waiting times, non-functional and idle equipment, poor infrastructure, insufficient medical supplies, high turnover of medical doctors, and poor training of healthcare workers, which collectively contribute to substandard service delivery and misuse of funds.

Better health outcomes through improvement in quality will require a deliberate focus on health services, which involves providing effective, safe, people-centered care that is timely, equitable, integrated and efficient, while minimizing harm and resource waste.

Discussions will focus on:

» Maintaining standards and ensuring excellence across all health care facilities.

» Scaling up digital systems to support service delivery and health services

Management

» Ensuring a high-quality health workforce

» Awareness creation about Early Childhood Development

Topic 4: Increasing agricultural productivity for growth

With nearly 70% of the workforce still in agriculture, the potential for productivity gains from structural transformation, urbanization and industrialization is significant.

NST1 aims to increase agriculture and livestock quality, productivity and production.

 With 5.3% average annual growth, the agricultural sector has more than doubled in value from 2000 to 2016. However, growth in productivity of livestock remains a challenge. Over the past 5 years, the total share of livestock and livestock products to the agriculture sector has averaged 3%.

There are a number of constraints hindering the dairy sub-sector, particularly performance of Milk Collection Centers (MCCs).

MCCs continue to face significant challenges including pricing issues from milk processors, resulting in low farmer supply to MCCs resulting in the centers operating below capacity averaging 25%.

Discussions will center on improving productivity and quality in livestock, availability of raw materials, agriculture for food security and exports.

Discussions will focus on:

» Strengthening the commercialization of crop and animal resource value chains in particular the dairy value chain

» The role of the private sector in strengthening livestock development

» Agriculture for food security and exports

Topic 5: Boosting exports growth and investments

By 2016, total exports of all goods and services reached 20% of GDP. Currently, the share of exports in national income is still low relative to other countries with comparable per capita income levels and also low compared to other land-locked countries.

Over the period of 2009-2016, the top 5% of exporters in Rwanda accounted for more than 80% of the total value of Rwandan exports, while the top 1% of exporters accounted for more than 40% of total export value. On average, these

Rwandan firms export only 2 products which shows much lower diversification than that of the regional peers (Kenya, 7.2 products; Tanzania, 4.2 products).

Discussions will focus on:

» Regional Competitiveness, diversification and expanding the export base

» Building capacity and scaling up efforts by private sector anchored on Made in Rwanda Initiative

» Impact on trade as a result of negative forces in neighboring countries

Timing and venue

The 16th National Leadership Retreat is planned to take place at Gabiro RDF

Combat Training Centre from the 8th March – 12th March 2019. An estimated

250 Leaders from Central Government, Local Government, parastatals and the

private sector are expected to attend.

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