Paul KagamePresident of the Republic of Rwanda
His Excellency Paul Kagame was sworn in as President of the Republic of Rwanda for a seven-term mandate on September 12, 2003 after being elected in the first ever democratically contested multiparty elections held in August 2003.
Paul Kagame was born in October 1957 in Ruhango, Southern Province, to Deogratius and Asteria Rutagambwa.
In 1960, he fled persecution and ethnic pogroms that were to characterize Rwanda in subsequent decades, and became a refugee in Uganda.
Paul Kagame was among the first 27 men who, together with Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, launched a five-year liberation war in Uganda in 1980.
He served as a senior officer in the Ugandan army between 1986 and 1990 during which time he attended a staff and command course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA.
In October 1990, Paul Kagame returned to Rwanda after thirty years in exile to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) in the struggle for the liberation of Rwanda.
On July 19, 1994, he was appointed vice-president and minister for defense in the Government of National Unity.
In 1998, he was elected chairman of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a partner in the Government of National Unity.
On April 17, 2000, Paul Kagame was unanimously elected president of the Republic of Rwanda by the Transitional National Assembly. He took the Oath of Office on April 22, 2000.
President Kagame was awarded the 2003 Global Leadership Award by the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), in recognition of his role in uniting and reconciling Rwandans and in promoting peaceful solutions to the conflicts in the region.
In July 2003, President Kagame was elected first vice president of the African Union during the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit held in Maputo, Mozambique.
In April 2005, President Kagame was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor Laws by the University of the Pacific in the USA.
In September 2005, President Kagame was awarded the Andrew Young Medal for Capitalism and Social Progress by Georgia State University in the USA; and in the same month received the African National Achievement Award by the Africa America Institute in the USA.
In April 2006, President Kagame was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Oklahoma Christian University in the USA.
President Kagame was presented the ICT Africa Award in 2006 and in 2007, an award which recognizes organizations and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in promoting the use of ICTs for the overall development of the African continent.
President Kagame was the recipient of the 2007 African Gender Award presented by Femmes Africa Solidarité in recognition of outstanding achievement in furthering gender mainstreaming in the economic and political spheres, as well as addressing social and cultural barriers that impede the involvement and advancement of women in national affairs.
In August 2007, President Kagame received The Abolitionist of the Year 2007 Award after Rwanda abolished the death penalty. The award was presented by Hands Off Cain to recognize the person, who, above all others, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment in the struggle for a moratorium on executions and the abolition of the death penalty.
President Kagame has been married to Jeannette Nyiramongi since 1989. They have four children. President Kagame is a keen tennis player and football fan.
At the heart of Rwanda's development efforts is the last and perhaps the most important of all eight Millennium Development Goals-a global partnership for development. President Paul Kagame gives a speech crediting those partnerships-at the local, national, and global levels-for moving Rwanda forward on the path to a brighter future.