The Commonwealth Secretariat has allowed Rwanda to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2021) in June, as coronavirus infection appears to slow in the East African nation.
Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has said they are impressed by the level of preparedness undertaken by Rwanda to host the meeting which was initially postponed in 2020 because of the onset of the pandemic.
“I want to thank Rwanda or to thank particularly the president for his strong support of our Commonwealth family and the determination to make sure that in June we have the best Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting,” she said.
“It is a rare privilege to be allowed to come back to this beautiful country of a thousand Hills. I think we have all gone through a very difficult period in the last year, a period of darkness, a period of concern, where our lives and our livelihoods have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic,”
“So, it is with fresh enthusiasm that we look forward to an opportunity when we can come together as a Commonwealth family of Nations, to consider how we can respond to the challenges that have been sent to us, not just by the pandemic or by the climate change but also the economic fallout that it has brought,” Scotland said.
President Paul Kagame on Thursday March 11 held a meeting with Patricia Scotland, at Village Urugwiro, where they discussed the progress in preparation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit (CHOGM 2021), which Rwanda will host in June.
Scotland visited Rwanda with the CHOGM task force to assess the level of preparation ahead of the summit slated to start from June 21, bringing together Heads of Governments and high-ranking officials from Commonwealth member states to discuss issues of global importance.
The 26th CHOGM was initially set to be held in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theme for CHOGM 2021 is: ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.’ Leaders will discuss how to deliver the things which were discussed at CHOGM 2018 in London, which was on the theme ‘Towards a Common Future’.
CHOGM is customarily held every two years and is the Commonwealth’s highest consultative and policy-making gathering.
June’s meeting in Kigali will be the first to be held in Africa in over a decade.
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta said the country remained committed to organizing a safe and successful event.
“CHOGM 2021 will be an opportunity for the Commonwealth to reiterate its capacity to lead on issues of global concern such health, security, climate change gender equality and economic recovery with the clear focus on actions and impact,” the Rwandan Minister said.
He said Rwanda’s CHOGM team will visit all Commonwealth member countries to brief them on the details of the preparations and plans ahead of the June meeting.
Minister Biruta said that Rwanda is ready to welcome people from all corners of the world in June and hopes for a successful, incident free meeting.
Scotland said she was extremely pleased and proud to be able to look at the preparations that Rwanda has “so wonderfully made to welcome 54 leaders” in the ‘home’ that has been prepared for them.
Rwanda, the youngest member of the Commonwealth, will be chairing the organization that has a community of 2.4 billion people.
Rwanda is warming up to take advantage of the $700m investment and trade deals that will be unveiled at forum.
At least $1trillion is expected to be transacted between the Commonwealths countries this year alone, an amount considered to be a record.
Apparently, Rwanda government will sign deal for the established International Financial center (IFC) in Kigali, construction of the Kigali Sports Complex, and real estate deals among others to be announced along the way.
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