President Kagame wins prestigious international leadership award

The President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame has been awarded the 2003 Global Leadership Award by the Young President’s Organisation (YPO). He received the award, in recognition of his role as leader in Rwanda’s transition to democracy and peace, at a ceremony that took place at the Presidency this morning.

In his remarks before presenting the award, Mr. Marco Van Embden, Vice-President of YPO said President Kagame “has played a leading role, not only in the tenuous reconciliation of the Rwandan people after the 1994 genocide, but also in the Democratic Republic of Congo…Despite many challenges, Rwanda continues to enjoy stability, peace and security with a steady economic performance marked by an annual growth rate estimated at more than 9 percent in 2002. President Kagame’s leadership is based on his firm belief that continued peace and security is the critical foundation to make the economic and cultural rebirth of Rwanda possible. ”

Mr. Embden added that President Kagame has demonstrated courage and commitment to resolve conflict, and establish peace and respect for humanity in Rwanda and the wider region. “His commitment inspires great leadership globally,” he said.

The Young President’s Organisation was founded in 1950 by Ray Hickok to connect more than 8,000 members in 170 local chapters and more than 75 nations around the world to learn, exchange ideas and share strategies to address the challenges young leaders face today.

The Global Leadership Award is given annually to leaders who demonstrate extraordinary leadership, uncommon vision, steadfast courage, inspiration and remarkable achievement in serving humankind.

President Kagame becomes the second personality to win the annual award. The recipient in 2002, the first year of the award, was King Abdullah II of Jordan.

In his acceptance speech, President Kagame said, “Thank you for this Global Leadership Award which is testimony to the resilience of the Rwandan people, and their determination to forge ahead, in the face of formidable challenges.” He added that Rwanda is currently involved in a process of national unity and reconciliation, and democratization, which would create an enabling environment to create wealth and prosperity.

Kagame said he accepted the award on behalf of the Rwandan people, “to recognize once again the unwavering commitment and steadfastness with which, together, we are able to face adversity and immense challenges.”

The award ceremony was also attended by the President of the Transitional National Assembly, Dr. Vincent Biruta, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Bernard Makuza, President of the Supreme Court Hon. Simeon Rwagasore, Minister in the President Hon. Soline Nyirahabimana, Minister of State for Good Governance Hon. Protais Musoni and Presidential Advisors.

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