RWANDA: Rwandan Women Honour Kagame

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The New Times
Central Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

President Paul Kagame, yesterday, received the "Lifetime Leadership Award for Development and Equality", from Rwandan women, in recognition of his efforts in developing the nation and promoting equality amongst Rwandans, The New Times reports.

During a dinner hosted for the participants of International Conference on Gender, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, said that Kagame was being awarded for his commitment to steer Rwanda to the greatest heights of development and economic prosperity.

"For your commitment to steer Rwanda to the greatest heights of development and economic prosperity, for your pioneering contribution to the country's miraculous renaissance, leadership and stability, for your conviction that "Africa's success or failure hinges upon its willingness to recognize and celebrate its own potential in general and the power of women in particular" Mushikiwabo said.

Kagame dedicated the Award to Rwandans who, he said, continue to work tirelessly to improve themselves and their communities.

"Although this award bears my name today, it should be understood by all of us, that when dealing with an issue as important as gender equality and its impact on social transformation, success requires the efforts of a whole nation, not just the actions of a single individual," the President said.

"This award, therefore, in many ways, extends to all the men and women who work tirelessly and are dedicated to improving the lives of Rwanda's women and girls in tangible and sustainable ways."

Kagame, acknowledged women's contribution in the rebuilding of the country and appealed to leaders to continue supporting them, as they work positively transform their nation.

"One cannot help but marvel at what the women of this nation have achieved, how they carry their heavy responsibilities so gracefully and their commitment to building a better Rwanda," he said.

"The optimism and consistency with which they tackle important tasks, often which no one will see or thank them for, is what should inspire leaders to do more to ensure that they continue to develop and contribute positively to our country, unhindered."

The President pointed out that equality is not a favour but a right.

"We have said it time and again, guaranteeing that women and girls have equal rights as boys and men, is really no big favour, it is restoring what simply and rightly belongs to them," he said.