His Excellency President Paul Kagame 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. Determined to resist oppressive regimes, as a young man, Paul Kagame joined current Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his group of guerilla fighters to launch a war to free Uganda from dictatorship. Under the new government, he served as a senior military officer.
In 1990, Paul Kagame returned to Rwanda to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s (RPF) four-year struggle to liberate the country from the autocratic and divisive order established since independence. Led by Kagame, the Rwanda Patriotic Army defeated the genocidal government in July 1994 and the RPF subsequently set Rwanda on its current course towards reconciliation and nation building. Paul Kagame is widely credited with guiding the nation’s economic and social transformation. Under His leadership, Rwanda has defied expectations and emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, overcoming the many obstacles involved with being a small, land-locked nation in the middle of Sub-Saharan Africa. President Kagame's vision is to transform Rwanda into a dynamic global center for business, investment and innovation.
The President Paul Kagame, has been dubbed the “digital president” by international organizations, journalists, and politicians alike. A recent article in Wired Magazine provides a compelling review of numerous technology initiatives that President Kagame has spearheaded in the last decade, making it clear why he’s been given this title. The Rwandan government has been making a concerted effort to create a culture of innovation by investing in technology, infrastructure, and the skills of the Rwandan people, as demonstrated by various projects. Examples include the One Laptop per Child Program and Rwanda’s partnership with California-based startup, Zipline, to launch the world’s first national drone delivery program. Undoubtedly, President Kagame has embraced the challenge of leading a technology movement in Rwanda. He is currently the Chairman of the Smart Africa Board, a bold initiative by African Presidents to accelerate socioeconomic development in Africa by leveraging ICTs, as a transformative vehicle.
President Kagame has received recognition for his leadership in peace building and reconciliation, development, good governance, promotion of human rights and women’s empowerment, and advancement of education and ICT, and is widely sought after to address regional and international audiences on a range of issues including African development, leadership, and the potential of ICT as a dynamic industry as well as an enabler for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation.