Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, arrived back home on Monday from Kigali, Rwanda, where he opened the national stakeholder conference of the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), on the democratic and integration process in that country.
The meeting discussed ethnic identity and social cohesion, as well as citizen’s participation in that country’s democratic governance.
A statement signed by Mr Frank Agyekum, Spokesman for the former president said. The meeting also validated results of a nationwide survey by IRDP on reintegration within the country.
The statement said former President Kufuor chaired the meeting in his capacity as Chairman of the Governing Council of Interpeace, the international peace-building organization, with operations in Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe and the Middle East. IPRD is the local partner of Interpeace of which former President is the first to chair from the Southern Hemisphere.
During his two-day visit, former President Kufuor had separate meetings with Rwanda’s Chief Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara, who is also a member of the IRDP board, and the Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.He visited the Genocide Memorial, where over 250,000 people are buried and paid tribute to all those who fell victim to the genocide.The statement said at the permanent exhibition section, the former President appeared deeply moved by what he saw.
Former President Kufuor arrived in Kigali from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was guest of honour at the launch of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, founded by the former South African President. The former president spoke on: “The African Renaissance – Dream or Reality” at the launch of the Foundation and participated in a panel discussion with former Mozambican President, Joaquim Chissano and former Italian President, Romano Prodi.
He also delivered a speech on: “Africa’s Claim of the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities” at the University of South Africa in Pretoria.
In another development, The African Editor’s Forum at their biennial meeting in Bamako, Mali, honoured the former President along with three other former Presidents and a sitting President for undertaking “significant improvements to operations of media” in their countries.
The others were former South African Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki; former Malian President, Alpha Konare of Mali, and sitting President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Former President Kufuor, who was represented by Mr Agyekum, was honoured for his repeal of the Criminal Libel Law.
Former Presidents Mbeki and Konare were represented by their wives, Zenzi and Aisha respectively, former President Mandela was represented by the Director of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and President Sirleaf was represented by the Liberian Vice-President.Each of those honoured was presented with a citation and a bronze carving. Former President Kufuor was away for about 10 days.