Kagame revealed this yesterday as he attended a virtual meeting dubbed ‘Davos Agenda 2021’ organized World Economic Forum.
It brought together experts in sciences, politicians, investors, youth and members of civil society organizations among others.
The President participated in a panel discussion revolving around ‘Advancing a New Social Contract’ that should be promoted between Governments, private sector and citizens.
Kagame explained that the world has pulled many lessons that were experienced in the past but never applied until Coronavirus pandemic emerged.
With Rwanda’s experience, he revealed that several measures were taken to support vulnerable people during the first lockdown imposed in March last year.
“In the situation we are with the pandemic, we have been learning, or experienced things we learned in the past but really never came to apply. And the pandemic as we have seen, has hit workers very hard, and Governments have responded with the tools available. In Rwanda, for example, we have established economic recovery fund of around US$100 million designed to help companies stay afloat,” he said.
“We also used agriculture reserve to supply food to vulnerable families, during lockdown and paid health insurance for 2 million citizens. This crisis has revealed gaps in existing social protection systems everywhere in the world,” added Kagame.
The President also stressed that the way the world has been affected and how it has responded ‘brought the suffix to the existing problems we had known before but not tackled’.
Kagame highlighted need to seek solution to address the issue to be prepared enough during pandemics and after.
“The social protection agenda cannot be limited to wealthy countries. In fact, the pandemic has also reminded us of how we are interlinked and how we are interdependent in many ways so that things happening in one part of the world affect the other part as well not matter how rich or how poor we are,” he said.
Kagame emphasized that social protection agenda should be inclusive to benefit many people in developing countries including women and young people working in the informal sector of employment.
“It must be inclusive globally; otherwise existing inequalities among countries will only grow wider and the working conditions in developing countries will degrade,” he said.
“The important point is the arbitrary distinction between formal and informal sector of employment particularly in developing countries; many and their livelihoods as small scale entrepreneurs especially women and young people. We need therefore innovative and comprehensive approaches to social protection that include workers of all background and types,” added Kagame.