I join all well wishers in congratulating our President on the attainment of an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Glasgow in Scotland last week. The award is indeed a deserved one given His Excellency’s role in turning around Rwanda from a third world state characterized by impunity, which culminated in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, and divisive leadership, barely over a decade ago, into a model state of good leadership and prosperity in the world.
It is amazing how fast distinguished people sometimes can turn hopeless situations into success stories. Indeed as an individual with extra ordinary accomplishments and continuing achievements in clean leadership, in nation building and in reconciliation, the gentleman deserves every accolade he has earned himself.
The recognition comes to the President for his societal accomplishments, and it certainly brings pride and encouragement to the people of Rwanda as a whole. No doubt it has all been possible because he did not pursue individual gains at the expense of national gains.
He has done his part as a statesman; it is now up to us to build on the strong foundation already laid and see how we can use the achievements to foster even better leadership and spur development.
This in my view can be partly achieved by using the University of Glasgow award first of all as a source of motivation to the beneficiary himself. Two, we can use it as an inspiration to mentor current and future leaders. How do we achieve this then?
By not allowing this treasure to simply remain in the records of the University of Glasgow and in the paper/plaque certificate that is normally hung on walls alone. This would tantamount to stifling our success by failing to give enough credit where it is due.
By this I mean that the qualities that are intrinsic within the President, which prompted an internationally renowned and thriving University to recognize him, should be applauded and given an everlasting land mark by doing what we are supposed to do and use the title “Doctor” before his name.
I know that whenever this title is used, academicians internationally make a fuss about it despite competencies and the quality of some dissertations that lead to their certificates. This is a proven life experience and there should not be any impediments to applying the title.
The motive is not pomp, but intended to share the achievement with others. It will be our duty all as natural and direct beneficiaries of the achievement to explain to those who will seek to understand, that it is for extra ordinary accomplishments. Specifically, we would point out “clean leadership, nation building, economic recovery and now progress and reconciliation in Rwanda”, which truly our President has worked so hard for things to be where they are.
The essence would mainly be to boost inspiration by his tremendous qualities, to encourage emulation by all Rwandans. This I believe will inspire both current and future admirers to strive for exercising exemplary leadership.
This is my personal view and I believe it is in line with the good intentions of the awarding University. Many thanks go to the editor for the award ceremony pictorial in this newspaper.
It is not a statutory matter that warrants a discussion. What I can state here though, is that those who share my views can join me as a matter of gradual consensus, by addressing our President as, “His Excellency Dr. Paul Kagame”