President Paul Kagame has extended his congratulations to Archbishop Antoine Kambanda upon his creation as the first cardinal in Rwanda. The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Rwanda was elevated to the level of cardinal by Pope Francis last month. In a letter that was shared on the President’s official social media platforms, Kagame told Kambanda that the country was honoured for his recent appointment by the Pope. On my behalf and on behalf of all Rwandans, we wish you all the best in your new responsibilities as the first Cardinal in Rwanda, he said. The Catholic Church is the most followed religious denomination in Rwanda. The title gave Kambanda another key, high-level status in the Catholic Church which will see him take on the advisory role of the Pope. This title you have been conferred is a pride to you, and to the Catholic Church in Rwanda, Kagame told the cleric. It is also valuable to the people of Rwanda and to the country, he added. The Catholic prelate was created cardinal years after being ordained as the archbishop of Kigali, and barely seven years after he was appointed bishop by Pope Francis. That, the Head of State said that it is also a sign of the unmatched talent to accomplish the work of God. This is also a demonstration that the Catholic Church has built a legacy 120 years since it was introduced in Rwanda, he added. The President highlighted that the Church continues to play a key role in the countrys rebuilding journey, especially when it comes to reuniting and reconciling people. It has also continued to play a role as a critical partner a key partner of government to promote education, health, and peoples welfare of Rwandans, he noted. Cardinals are considered the closest advisers to the Pope. Cardinals that are below 80 years of age have the right to participate in a conclave (the secret meeting where Popes are elected). Kambanda is 61.