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Acceptance Speech for African leader in Innovation & Sustainability Award

Frank Habineza's Acceptance Speech :

African leader in Innovation & Sustainability Award from Pilot International

Representative of the Office of President Republic of Uganda, Representative Office of Vice President, Republic of Gambia, Hon. Ministers, Hon. Presidential Advisors, Excellences, President and CEO Pilot International, Members of the Award Committee, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

First of all, I wish to recognize all the people to whom an especial reference is due and that is all of you dear ladies and gentlemen gathered tonight.

I am humbled and honoured to receive the award of 'African Leader in Innovation and Sustainability'. I accept this award on behalf of all the African Greens and more especially the Rwandan Green Democrats.

I would also like to take on this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to, Mr.Charles Lwanga Bbaale, President, Ecological Party of Uganda for having nominated me for this prize. Special thanks also go to Pilot International Award Committee.

The African Greens Federation is a peaceful movement which is moving with determination in risk and danger to establish a green and democratic society in Africa using non-violence.

This award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time - the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

The process to establish a continental federation of all African Green Parties and political movements has not been any easier. There were a lot of stumbling blocks on the way : language barriers, un-democratic regimes, long distances, and so on. We were very encouraged by our green brothers in Tunisia, who had to struggle for five years to get party registration. This was only possible one week after the January 2011 Tunisian revolution.

We are very grateful to the Government and people of Uganda for having enabled us establish the African Greens Federation in April 2010. This was during the African Greens Congress, held in Bwebajya, Kampala, Uganda. This would not have been possible if the Government of Uganda had not officially registered the Ecological Party of Uganda, and to that we would like to register our sincere gratitude.

That African Greens Congress had originally been planned to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, but it was not possible because the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, had tried several times to get registered but was un- successful and one of its founding congresses, like that of 30th October 2009, was sabotaged violently and thereafter denied permission to convene once again. The worst happened on 14th July 2010, when it's Vice President ; Andre Kagwa RWISEREKA was found decapitated.

The journey is still very long, but we are determined to continue the struggle for democracy. We reject revenge, aggression and retaliation. We must find a way to live together in peace.

This Prize gives us more energy to prepare for the upcoming third Global Greens Congress, which will be held for the first time in Africa. It will be hosted in Dakar, Senegal in March-April 2012.

I would like to request the CEO of Pilot International to convey to this respected gathering, my solemn and heartfelt thanks for this unique distinction, which will always be proudly remembered by all African Greens.

Thank you so much and God bless you all.

Frank Habineza

President, Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and African Greens Federation