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If it were economists alone, progress would have been tremendous

Kigali, 30 October 2012

President Kagame has said that African economies operate in both national and international political contexts which have a huge impact on choices countries make and the outcomes thereof. While opening the 7th African Economic Conference today at Serena hotel, President Kagame pointed out that if development in African nations depended on the advice of economists alone, the countries would have made tremendous progress:

“In Rwanda, we understand that politics and economics go hand in hand and we have made a conscious and deliberate choice of inclusive development based on our political reality. By and large, they have produced positive results. Growth has been consistent and poverty levels considerably reduced like in the last five years by 12 % - from 56.9% to 44% in five years.”

However, President Kagame pointed out that it is also clear that in Rwanda and other developing countries, development is not driven by local politics alone:

President Kagame presented with the African Peace Personality Award 2012

Kigali, 29 October 2012

President Kagame was today presented with the African Peace Personality Award 2012 which he won after an online voting process by youth across the continent, organized by the Miss University African Pageant. President Kagame was declared the winner with 817, 201 votes, with the highest number of votes coming from Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria. Other contestants for the award included President Ernest Bai Koroma, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Accepting the award, President Kagame expressed his gratitude and told Miss University Africa:

“We want to look at Africa as our bigger family. The youth must take responsibility for themselves and for each other. Let everyone join in the fight to elevate Africa to the level it should be. It all starts in the mind.”

President Kagame receives new heads of UN, UNICEF,AfDB

Kigali, 25 October 2012

President Kagame today received new heads of the United Nations, UNICEF and the African Development Bank. President Kagame also met the CEO of IKEA Foundation, Per Heggens, who paid him a courtesy call. IKEA Foundation is UNICEF’s largest corporate partner in areas of education, child survival and disaster risk reduction.

Lamin M. Manneh, a Gambian national, was appointed as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Rwanda on September 12. Prior to his appointment in Rwanda, Manneh served as the UN Resident Coordinator in Congo Brazzaville for four years. Since 1996, Lamin Manneh has served in several Senior Managerial Positions within the United Nations Development Programme, both at Headquarters as well as in Country Offices. Before serving UNDP, Lamin Manneh worked with the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as with the Ministry of Economic Planning and the Central Bank in the Gambia.

President Kagame addresses World Energy Forum in Dubai

Dubai, 22 October 2012

President Kagame today attended the third World Energy Forum hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Held in line with the 2012 United Nationals theme of “clean, safe and sustainable energy for all, the meeting began with the signing of the World Heads of the World Energy Day Proclamation establishing October 22 as a day to raise awareness about energy issues and stimulate political will to support sustainable energy.

With over 1.3 billion people yet to have access to electricity, this year's theme is a call on world leaders to ensure equitable access to energy. In Africa, only a quarter of the population has access to electricity.

It is with an emphasis on the direct relationship between access to energy and socio-economic development that President Kagame began his address this morning. Along with attending Heads of States session, President Kagame called for the kind of global commitment that has made the Millenium Development Goals a success;

“It has become clear that when the world acknowledges that there is a problem and acts to resolve it, the outcome is impressive. We need to address imbalances of energy between developed and developing countries and raise level of consumption and utilization. The world community should treat access to energy as a basic right essential in the development process.”

View pictures of the story:http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkagame/sets/72157631826638188/

Watch the full speech: http://www.paulkagame.tv/podcast/?p=episode&name=2012-10-22_kagame__.mp3

Endeavour to be the horse riders, not the horses

Kigali, 19 October 2012

President Kagame has asked Rwandan youth to be leaders today because it is never too early for one to take the responsibility of developing their country. Speaking at the Amahoro indoor stadium, Petit Statde, where he met and interacted with over 2000 university students today President Kagame used the analogy of the horse and the horse rider, urging Rwanda youth to aim high and take full control of their destiny.

“Africans have been made the horses for long. It is about time we changed this and became the horse riders. Why would you, the young people of our country accept someone your age, or older, from somewhere else come here to tell you what is and is not good for you? You should take charge, control your destiny and be agents of change. Why would you accept to be a second class global citizen when you are as good as anyone else?”

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