DUBAI - President Paul Kagame was last evening awarded the Peace and Innovation Award at the ongoing 2008 World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WSIE) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The President was awarded for leading Rwanda to “successful reconciliation through institutionalized power sharing, Gacaca and economic transformation agenda in an innovative way.”
Senate President Dr. Vincent Biruta who is representing the Head of State at the three-day summit received the award on behalf of the President.
Biruta is among others accompanied by the State Minister for Industry and Investment Promotion, Vincent Karega.
Kagame’s award is just the latest in a series of international accolades he has won in the past for particularly lifting Rwanda out of the ashes of the 1994 Genocide to a nation that currently inspires many countries, serving as a model to them in various aspects.
The Gacaca system, which is a blend of the Rwandan traditional justice and contemporary justice models, has helped in handling the huge numbers of Genocide suspects within the available meagre resources, while at the same time fostering unity and reconciliation among Rwandans.
Although some have criticized Gacaca system, many have praised it, describing it as the best option that would bring about reconciliation in the country.
“There is no question that Gacaca is imperfect, but between imperfect options, Gacaca is the better mode. Gacaca is also Rwanda’s most hopeful option for reconciliation,” Noah Weisbord wrote in International Herald Tribunal in 2003.
“Glimpses of authenticity at Gacaca hint enticingly at the potential for lasting peace in Rwanda.”
Also viewed as an important ingredient in the country’s fast recovery is the power-sharing arrangement around which the Kagame administration is built.
“Our nations and peoples must invest in the politics of inclusion, of power sharing, of broad-based governance at the grassroots level, within a constitutional order. I am reminded that the ‘winner-takes-it-all’ model, a western democratic heritage, while workable here, may be counterproductive in some of our societies still grappling with the challenge of healing and reconstruction,” Kagame said at the US Institute of Peace in Washington on March 6, 2003.
That was only three months before the country adopted a new Constitution which effectively put in place measures to ensure an all-inclusive Government, including a restriction that the ruling party shall not have more than fifty percent seats in Cabinet, and that the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies shall not come from the same political organization as the President of the Republic.
Rwanda also has the highest number of women parliamentarians the world over, for which Kagame won the 2007 Africa Gender Award from the Femmes Africa Solidarité.
Designed to foster innovation, development and peace in emerging nations, 2008 WSIE is organized by the Global Leadership Team (GLT) and exclusively presented by Nakheel, one of the world’s largest real estate.