Paul Kagame

His Excellency Paul Kagame was sworn in as President of the Republic of Rwanda for a seven-year term on 12 September 2003 following the country’s first ever democratically contested multi-party elections held in August 2003.

Paul Kagame was born in October 1957 in Rwanda’s Southern Province. His family fled pre-independence ethnic persecution and violence in 1960, crossing into Uganda where Kagame spent thirty years as a refugee.

Determined to resist oppressive regimes, as a young man, Paul Kagame joined current Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and his group of guerilla fighters to launch a war to free Uganda from dictatorship. Under the new government, he served as a senior military officer.

In 1990, Paul Kagame returned to Rwanda to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s (RPF) four-year struggle to liberate the country from the autocratic and divisive order established since independence.

Led by Kagame, the Rwanda Patriotic Army defeated the genocidal government in July 1994 and the RPF subsequently set Rwanda on its current course towards reconciliation, nation building and socioeconomic development.

Paul Kagame was appointed Vice-President and Minister for Defence in the Government of National Unity on 19 July 1994, and four years later was elected Chairman of the RPF, a partner in the Government of National Unity.

On 22 April 2000 Paul Kagame took the Oath of Office as President of the Republic of Rwanda after being elected by the Transitional National Assembly.

President Kagame has received recognition for his leadership in peace building and reconciliation, development, good governance, promotion of human rights and women’s empowerment, and advancement of education and ICT, including the following:

  • Patron and Honorary Fellow of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa - COSECSA (2009)
  • Most Innovative People Award for Economic Innovation by the Global Leadership Team (2009)
  • Presidential Merit Citation Award by Utah State University (2009)
  • International Medal of Peace by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church (2009)
  • Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Public Service by William Jefferson Clinton (2009)
  • World Technology Awards (for Policy) by the World Technology Network (2009)
  • Children's Champion Award by the United States Fund for UNICEF (2009)
  • Distinction of Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia (2009)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by Florida State University (2009)
  • Innovation for Peace Award by the World Summit on Innovation and Enterprise (2008)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by University of Glasgow (2007)
  • Abolitionist of the Year Award by Hands Off Cain (2007)
  • African Gender Award by Femmes Africa Solidarité (2007)
  • ICT Africa Award (2006 and 2007)
  • Honorary Doctorate by Oklahoma Christian University (2006)
  • African National Achievement Award by the Africa America Institute (2005)
  • Rwanda Defence Forces Order of Honour; National Liberation Medal; Campaign Against Genocide Medal (2005)
  • Andrew Young Medal for Capitalism and Social Progress by Georgia State University (2005)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of the Pacific (2005)
  • Global Leadership Award by the Young Presidents Organisation (2003)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) by Vellore Institute of Technology (2002)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Service by La Roche College (2000)

President Kagame is widely sought after to address regional and international audiences on a range of issues including African development, leadership, and the potential of ICT as a dynamic industry as well as an enabler for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation.

Paul Kagame is married to Jeannette Nyiramongi and they have four children. President Kagame is a keen tennis player and football fan.

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