New York, 11 December 2013

At a ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters, President Kagame presented the International Quality of Life Award to Howard Buffett in recognition of his work to improve lives in the region.

President Kagame thanked Howard Buffett for his continuous partnership and contribution to Rwanda’s journey to development:

As we, in Rwanda, look back on our journey of recovery and nation building and as we reflect on the core values of dignity and self-determination that guide our efforts; there are organizations and individuals whose partnership and support stand out. Howard’s is one of them.”

Describing Howard Buffett, President Kagame underlined the importance of partnerships centered on local priorities rather than external interests:

Some of those who come to the region seeking to partner with us, often with good intentions, arrive with preconceived ideas based upon where they come from, what they have heard or read. They tend to believe that they understand the situation better than those they seek to help; thereby making the mistake of being overly prescriptive.Howard has been different. He came to our region with an open mind, ready to listen, learn and share; and not to dictate – and he genuinely used what he learned to inform his actions and investments”

Howard Buffett has been working in the region for fifteen years. His partnership with Rwanda now include two new projects: the modernization of the DRC-Rwanda border post and the recent grant of 3.7 million dollars to the Strategic and Capacity Building Initiative.