Compton Lecture Series: President Paul Kagame, Rwanda
“Imperative of Science and Technology in Accelerating African and Rwandan Development”
Date: September 18, 2008
Time: 3:30â€“5 pm
Location: Kresge Auditorium, MIT’s building W16.
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Speaker: President Paul Kagame, Rwanda
This event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
MIT welcomes His Excellency Paul Kagame, president of the Republic of
Rwanda, to campus to present the September 2008 Karl Taylor Compton
His Excellency Paul Kagame (b. 1957) is the current president of the
Republic of Rwanda. He is also the leader of the guerilla Rwandan
Patriotic Front, whose invasion of Rwanda is cited as the primary
reason that the Rwandan Genocide ended.
Born a Tutsi, President Kagame and his family moved to a Ugandan
refugee camp to escape the violence of the 1959 revolt sparked by the
Belgian military and carried out by the Hutu population. Political
instability and tribal conflict fueled the ethnic persecution that
would take place for decades.
President Kagame was among the first 27 men who, together with Yoweri
Kaguta Museveni, launched a five-year liberation war in neighboring
Uganda in 1980. He served as a senior officer in the Ugandan army
between 1986 and 1990, during which time he received training as a
distinguished ally in the US Army’s Command and General Staff
College. In October 1990, President Kagame returned to Rwanda after
30 years in exile to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Army in the struggle
for the liberation of Rwanda.
On July 19, 1994, he was appointed vice president and minister for
defense in the Government of National Unity. In 1998, he was elected
chairman of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a partner in the Government
of National Unity. On April 17, 2000, His Excellency was unanimously
elected president of the Republic of Rwanda by the Transitional
National Assembly. He took the oath of office on April 22, 2000.
President Kagame has received a number of awards for his efforts to
bring stability and peace to Rwanda, including the 2003 Global
Leadership Award by the Young Presidents’ Organization, the Andrew
Young Medal, the Information and Communications Technologies Africa
Award, the African National Achievement Award, the African Gender
Award, and several honorary doctorates. He also received
international recognition for outlawing the death penalty in Rwanda
With initiatives in business, communications, energy, and gender
equity, President Kagame is preparing his reunited country to take a
role on the world stage. Read more at his website.