In the just concluded week, President Paul Kagame joined the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad, UN Advocate on Combating Corruption, Dr. Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri and other dignitaries for the 2022 Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) award ceremony.
The ACE awards were previously hosted in Rwanda in December 2019.
In Doha, Qatar; President Kagame hit back on critics who have criticized the Federation of International Football (Fifa) for granting Qatar the opportunity to host the ongoing 2022 World Cup men’s competition.
Kagame said that since the first time he visited Qatar in 2018, he has seen progress in the country which has made a build up to hosting the international competition followed by many across the globe.
Kagame said from his perspective, the negative information circulating about Qatar hosting the World Cup is a matter of concern but this is something that can also be proof for the undoubted success made by Qatar after all, there is nowhere in the world without fault.
He said that the relentless onslaught of negative propaganda, to which Qatar has been subjected by some countries needs to be called out, and analysed for what it is even when Qatar did not have to respond to all of it in words and instead let the facts speak for themselves.
“The real subtext of these criticisms, is that only certain countries and people, deserve the honour of hosting events of such global importance. Ironically, the more you achieve, the more important it becomes to remind you that you are not equal,” President Kagame said.
President Kagame said that the main lines of attack have been seen, for example on migration labour, illustrate the hypocrisy.
“It is as if such problems have ceased to exist in other parts of the world, especially where the criticism originates from. In fact, the situation for them is often much worse,” Kagame said referring to the fact that tens of millions of migrants who drive the agricultural and services economies of rich countries are still denied basic rights and protections including even the right to legally exist as residents in those countries.
Kagame said that this is an example of an orchestrated campaign to put a country like Qatar back in the inferior place, but urged people of Qatar to take heart, and be proud of the success of hosting the World Cup of which many other countries stand proud alongside them.
Kagame told participants at the ACE awards that corruption represents the corrosion of societies, and congratulated His Highness who has been a champion of the anti-corruption struggle for years, through the Anti-Corruption Excellence Awards but reminded the world that the fight against corruption, is a forever one, and requires endless effort.
“That is the spirit embodied here, and once again I commend His Highness for supporting the broader fight against corruption, and for hosting the world in this extraordinary country,” Kagame said stating that the ultimate goal, for all, should be to build and sustain societies of integrity and fairness, and for the different cultures of the world to interact with each other as equals.
The President also used the opportunity to congratulate the winners of the ACE awards.