President Kagame has told the military that beyond the task of protecting territorial borders, the men and women in the uniform must play a role in transforming the nation.
He said the army has the duty to protect the sovereignty of the country, but also playing role in improving the lives of Rwandans through finding solutions to the challenges they face.
“Protecting our sovereignty means working for the development of every Rwandan and ensuring that no one is left behind; true sovereignty means the well being and dignity of our citizens,” Kagame said.
The President made the statement Wednesday afternoon at Gako Military Academy after commissioning 478 Cadet Officers. The commander-in-chief told the officers that, “RDF is not just about military protection. We have a role in transforming this nation, working with and for the people.”
Kagame said the army’s main task on the course to gain true sovereignty was to address the problems that hindered Rwandans from enjoying access to basics of life.
The army is involved in infrastructure development, in education, provision of medical services and helping erecting shelters for vulnerable members of the society such as widows and survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
In 2015, about 81,248 patients received treatment in Rwanda Military Hospital. Since 2012, 45, 000 genocide survivors have received medical care from the army alongside construction of 52 health posts around the country.
The RDF worked with the civilians to introduce the nine-year and 12 year basic education. During the period, 1,162 classrooms, 168 teachers houses and 1,126 pit latrines were constructed.
The army contributed Rwf214 million towards giranka programme and about 60,000 Rwandans in Rulindo, Muhanga and Rutsiro districts had access to clean water by 2013 as a result of RDF initiatives.
RDF has been central in relocating thousands of Rwandans who formerly lived in high risky zones as well as constructing bridges over the Nyabarongo River.