Held in Kigali from September 24 to 27, 2021, the 16th edition of the African Development Awards (PADEV) brought together key development actors from 15 countries on the continent and the Diaspora. An event designed to honor significant contributions to development assistance in Africa.
By Abraham Uwimana, in Kigali
The PADEV Prize, initiated by the 225 Foundation, is an African Award of Merit and Excellence awarded each year to individuals and corporate bodies whose works in their respective sectors of activity, by their qualities and their impacts, constitute models.
And for the third consecutive year, Kigali was the host of the event as explained by the vice president of the Foundation 225, Claude Koffi. “Traditionally, the ceremony was hosted by different African capitals, but since we came to Rwanda in 2019, the Rwandan government has expressed a willingness to host it for five years and we did not hesitate to accept,” explains the head of the organization. Because the country of “African resilience” offers a perfect setting for the event.
“We appreciate the intellect and commitment of President Paul Kagame, who, after the genocide against the Tutsis, put much effort to rebuild the country, which is now Africa’s new Garden of Eden. We liked the spirit of hospitality of the Rwandans, as well as its working environment, where security is assured as well as the cleanliness of Kigali. In addition, digitization is more advanced compared to other African countries,” adds Claude Koffi.
“Rwanda is always looking for investors. The fact that large companies are willing to come to Rwanda and are interested in Rwanda is an opportunity for us“
In addition, the 225 Foundation has partnered with Rwanda Cooperation – the Rwandan government agency dedicated to promoting development initiatives – to share cooperation opportunities between the country and other African nations, primarily in West Africa, and to learn from each other. “Rwanda is always looking for investors. The fact that big companies are willing to come to Rwanda and are interested in the country is an opportunity for us,” said Rosine Urujeni, Director of Operations for Rwanda Cooperation. “Being here and being able to share our initiatives with many different people from all over Africa is a good opportunity that we took and the participants were eager to learn more about Rwanda,” she said.
Among these participants is Fréderic Some, a native of Burkina Faso, winner of a PADEV 2021 award and director of administration and finance for New Leaders Vision International (NLVI), a company specializing in bitcoin, which has trained more than 600 young people in Burkina Faso to date. An approach that Frederic Some is now seeking to replicate in Rwanda, “the bitcoin business there [is] not advanced,” which is why NLVI has “started to train different people there on bitcoin,” says the cryptocurrency specialist.
“Africa’s richness does not lie in its natural resources but in its youth”
In the end, as Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, pan-African political figure and diplomat, vice president of the Senegalese National Assembly, present at the event, the Padev is an invitation to highlight African expertise and African solutions. “The richness of Africa does not lie in its natural resources, but in its youth,” said the former Senegalese minister before reminding that “if Africa has thousands of problems, it also has thousands of answers, of which the first three solutions are leadership, the second, leadership and the third, leadership.
Indeed, many young leaders will have been invited this year to the event, which honors 80 laureates from 15 countries, operating in the sectors of health, education, environment, immigration, with the aim of encouraging the promotion of work, merit and excellence as a new basis for the African social edifice.