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L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, left, with Rick Warren at the Hotel Intercontinental Kigali.
Photo/ Grace Mugabe
Photo No. : P060123-1
Click for enlarged photo

Warren Hails Kagame
by Grace Mugabe
RWANDA 060123-1
January 23, 2006

[L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda - Rwanda] The leader of Saddleback Church in California, Pastor Rick Warren, on January 20th hailed President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for his uniqueness, describing him as a statesman unrivalled by others he has met.

“To tell you the truth, I consider Paul Kagame as an uncommon leader,” he said. “I have met many leaders but this is a man of unique calibre.” He added that there were many men who had the vision of President Kagame, but not his character.

Pastor Warren said this on January 20th at the Hotel Intercontinental, Kigali. He was in the company of 60 American visitors including health experts, businessmen, peace scientists and politicians. The function was attended by senior government officials, among others.

“He [President Kagame] is a man who does what is right; therefore he is a great leader who will save Rwanda. I do not know any other leader who has done what Kagame has done. He stopped genocide and thereafter he installed reconciliation so, he is a servant leader,” the pastor said.

He added that there were leaders who were egocentric but Kagame was not. He was a man of God and grace. Pastor Warren went on to say that he fell in love with Rwanda because of its people and its good leadership.

President Kagame lauded Pastor Warren for his special visit and said, “It is always a pleasure to welcome our friends like Rick and I want to thank you for having brought to us visitors.” He said Pastor Warren and his wife, Kay, were seen as partners in a peace plan.

“Rick; I am sure people ask you: why Rwanda?” a smiling Kagame said, adding that the church had to be involved in solving the country’s five biggest problems: spiritual emptiness, lack of servant leaders, poverty, disease and ignorance.

“We thank you, Rick, for being a friend of Rwanda and we thank you for using your resources and time, and above all we thank you for wanting to use Rwanda as the purpose-driven country in the world. We thank also Kay Warren for being a force behind all this,” Kagame said.

Thanking the accompanying team, Kagame informed investors: “We are ready to provide you with a conducive environment for your business. I assure you that you have all my commitment in whatever you endeavour to do in development.” He added that government would continue to work with churches because they helped in building the nation through their social doctrines.

President Kagame is regarded by the world as a peace advocate. He has won several peace medals on the African continent, which has made Rwanda a peace model.