Paul Kagame on Friday was sworn in as president of Rwanda for his third term in the capital city Kigali.
He took the oath administered by Chief Justice Sam Rugege at the inauguration ceremony attended by leaders and officials of African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Senegal, Gabon, South Sudan, Zambia, Niger, the Republic of the Congo, Namibia and Sudan.
In his inaugural speech, Kagame described the swear-in ceremony as a day of renewal and gratitude.
"I want to acknowledge the leaders and members of the eight political parties who joined with RPF to nominate me as their candidate. For 23 years, we have collaborated with deep mutual respect to repair the social fabric of our devastated nation," he said.
The central African country has been recovering from a genocide that killed about 1 million people in 1994 and has now been considered as a model of development for many countries in Africa.
"Today Rwanda defines no one as an enemy whether domestic or foreign. With every other country we seek partnership and cooperation," he also said.
"Every attempt that was made whether from within and especially outside to denigrate the process and glorify the old politics of division made Rwandans more defiant and more determined to express themselves through the vote," said Kagame.
According to him, there is no single model for nation-building. "At the root of any success are good choices built on a mindset: Do It Yourself."
"We in Rwanda will continue to be firm believers in real partnership and cooperation with friends around the world."
About 6.9 million Rwandans cast ballots in the presidential election held on August 4. Kagame won 98.79 percent of the vote. Independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana stood at second with 0.73 percent. The other candidate Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda got 0.48 percent.
Kagame, who is also the chairman of the ruling party Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been president since 2000 when he was elected as the president of the transitional government by ministers and members of parliament following the resignation of then President Pasteur Bizimungu.
He was re-elected in the 2003 and 2010 presidential elections by winning around 95 percent and 93 percent of votes respectively.
(Xinhua News Agency, August 18, 2017)