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Pres. Paul Kagame
President of the Republic of Rwanda
Paul Kagame was sworn in as President of the Republic of Rwanda for a seven-year term on 12 September 2003 after being elected in the first ever democratically contested multiparty elections held in August 2003.
Paul Kagame was born in October 1957. In 1960, he fled persecution and ethnic pogroms that were to characterize Rwanda in subsequent decades, and became a refugee in Uganda. He was among the first 27 men who, together with Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, launched a five-year liberation war in Uganda in 1980.
In October 1990, Paul Kagame returned to Rwanda after thirty years in exile to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in the struggle for the liberation of Rwanda. He oversaw the writing of a new constitution to share power with all political parties, and with women, to make basic education free, as well as led the campaign to outlaw capital punishment.
President Kagame was the recipient of the 2007 African Gender Award presented by Femmes Africa Solidarité in recognition of outstanding achievement in supporting advancement of women in all spheres of national life. He received the Hands Off Cain “Abolitionist of the Year 2007” when Rwanda abolished the death penalty.
In 2009, TIME magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world.