President Kagame on Thursday night in New York received the 2009 Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Public Service. The award was presented by Lisa Ling, American journalist, and honoured President Kagame for leading Rwanda “through an unparalleled transformation” and for having “forged a strong, unified and growing nation with the potential to become a model for the rest of the world”.
On receiving the award, President Kagame thanked Bill Clinton for his friendship and support for Rwanda’s development programmes, and dedicated the award to Rwanda saying,”I receive it with humility and a great sense of responsibility that comes along with that recognition. I also can’t wait to go back home and deliver the award to the people of Rwanda and say this is for you as much as it is for me”.

During the award ceremony, Bill Clinton spoke about his relationship with President Kagame, describing him as “one of the greatest leaders of our time”. On President Kagame’s leadership, Bill Clinton said “I think the great victory of Rwanda was not in the economic growth. The great victory of Rwanda was not even having more than half of parliament as women. The great victory of Rwanda was a victory of the mind and the spirit. And Paul Kagame freed the hearts and minds of his people to think about the future. Leave here with that lesson.”