Committed to connecting the world

WTISD 2014 Laureate

WTISD 2014 Laureate H.E. Paul Kagame
President of the Republic of Rwanda

Acceptance Speech

Thinking Big: Broadband for Development in Rwanda


Mr Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, was born in October 1957 in Rwanda's Southern Province. His family fled pre-independence ethnic persecution and violence in 1960, crossing into Uganda where Kagame spent thirty years as a refugee.

In 1990, Paul Kagame returned to Rwanda to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Front's (RPF) four-year struggle to liberate the country and set it on its current course towards reconciliation, nation building and socio-economic development.

Paul Kagame took the Oath of Office as President of the Republic of Rwanda on 22 April 2000 after being elected by the Transitional National Assembly. President Paul Kagame won the first ever democratic elections held in Rwanda in August 2003 and was re-elected to a second seven-year mandate in August 2010.

President Kagame has received recognition for his leadership in peace building and reconciliation, development, and advancement of education and ICT. His leadership has guided African development overall and promoted the ICT sector as a dynamic industry as well as an enabler for Africa's socio-economic transformation.

In 2007, Kigali was the venue for the Connect Africa Summit, which resulted in investment commitments amounting to over USD 55 billion, with the ICT industry taking the lead. In 2013, the Transform Africa Summit was co-hosted by President Kagame and ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré.

President Kagame currently serves as chair of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Group on UN MDG Advocacy Group and as co-chair along with Carlos Slim of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

Paul Kagame is married to Jeannette Nyiramongi and they have four children. He is a keen tennis player and football fan.