TIME magazine asks former honorees to suggest who should be included in the next TIME'S 100 MOST Important & Influential PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.
So I recommended Paul Kagame, and they agreed.
Then TIME's Editor asked me to write the short tribute for the upcoming issue.
Below are my words.
You might want to offer congratulations to President Kagame.
TIME'S 100 MOST IMPORTANT & INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
Category: World Leaders and Reformers
President Paul Kagame, By Dr. Rick Warren
President Paul Kagame, 51, of Rwanda , is the face of emerging African leadership. His reconciliation strategy, management model, empowerment of women in leadership, and insistence on self-reliance, are transforming a failed state into one with a bright future.
Rwanda 's rapid improvements have impressed the rest of the continent and Kagame's influence is exponentially greater than the size that his small country might warrant.
Paul Kagame is one of few leaders who has successfully modeled the transition from soldier to statesman.
During the atrocities of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the world watched in horror, but did nothing.
Kagame, with no outside help, was solely responsible for ending the slaughter that murdered over a million citizens in 100 days.
When his best friend was killed, Kagame was forced to assume the leadership of the Rwandan exiles that ended the killing spree.
He was hailed as liberator by his countrymen, but wisely refused the presidency at that point.
"What we needed most was unity", he said, "and I had not been elected,"
After the genocide, the nation was in shambles. Kagame and other began the slow process of rebuilding.
But the process moved into hyper drive when he was elected president in 2000. He launched a series of reforms and reconciliation strategies that have caught the attention of investors worldwide.
He has since taken the small but densely populated African country from division and devastation to unity and stability, fostering a social and economic recovery unimaginable 15 years ago.
Even his critics respect his accomplishments. Kagame's leadership includes a number of uncommon characteristics: One is his willingness to listen and learn from to those who oppose him, and even find ways to partner with them.
When Stephen Kinzer was writing a biography of Kagame, the president gave him a list of his critics and suggested that Kinzer could discover what the president was really like by interviewing them.
Only a humble, yet confident, leader would do that.
Another uncommon characteristic is Kagame's zero tolerance for corruption. Rwanda is one of few countries where I've never been asked for a bribe.
Anytime a government worker is caught in corruption, he is publicly exposed and dealt with.
It is a model for the entire country and the rest of the world too.
Rick Warren Saddleback Church Purpose Driven Connection P.E.A.C.E. Connection
-- J-L K. Procurement Consultant Gsm: (250) (0) 78-847-0205 Home: (250) 55-10-4140 P.O. Box 3867 Kigali - RWANDA East AFRICA Blog: http://cepgl.blogspot.com Skype ID: kayisa66