The General Assembly and strategic forum will be held in the capital city Kigali from 4-8 September 2019, marking the ten-year anniversary of Rwanda joining the list of Commonwealth nations in 2009, and a year before Rwanda hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020.
Confirming the development, Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin CBE said, “Rwanda’s membership of the Commonwealth is unique and we welcome this opportunity to celebrate and engage with the youngest member of our sporting family. They submitted an ambitious, strategic hosting proposal – and see the General Assembly as an important stepping stone for CHOGM 2020,”
“Rwanda is an inspiring country with passionate, proactive sports leadership – and we all look forward to ensuring a socially impactful legacy for Rwanda and the host CGA around the shared values and ambitions of Commonwealth Sport,” added Martin CBE.
The Rwanda Commonwealth Games Association President Ambassador Valens Munyabagisha said: “We are truly honoured to be selected to host the 2019 CGF General Assembly. We want to leverage this important event to build the profile of Rwanda and the wider Commonwealth and also contribute to our shared sporting, social and economic development,”
“Our athletes and team will be the proudest of hosts – warmly welcoming the Commonwealth sporting fraternity to Kigali next September,”
The CGF were initially in talks with Kenya as their preferred host for the meeting, where President Louise Martin will be up for re-election and a host city for the 2026 Commonwealth Games is due to be selected.
The CGF then re-opened the process and both Kenya and Rwanda applied before the deadline of August this year.
Nairobi was set to stage the gathering of the CGF membership pending sign-off from the Kenyan Government, before the organisation allowed other bidders to come forward.
It will mark the 10-year anniversary since the African nation joined the Commonwealth.
Rwanda’s membership of the Commonwealth is unique and we welcome this opportunity to celebrate and engage with the youngest member of our sporting family,” said Martin.
“They submitted an ambitious, strategic hosting proposal – and see the General Assembly as an important stepping stone for the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
“Rwanda is an inspiring country with passionate, proactive sports leadership – and we all look forward to ensuring a socially impactful legacy for Rwanda and the host Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) around the shared values and ambitions of Commonwealth sport.”
The General Assembly will take place in the flagship US$ 300 million Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) which opened in 2016. Key agenda items for the 2019 General Assembly will be the quadrennial CGF elections, continued evolution of the CGF’s Governance and Regulations and the approval of a refreshed Transformation 2022 strategy.
Rwanda made their Commonwealth Games debut at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, taking part in Athletics, Boxing, Road Cycling and Swimming.
They won their first ever Games medal at the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games – winning Bronze in Women’s Beach Volleyball.
During the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, all the Commonwealth Countries observed one minute’s silence to pay respect to the Tutsi killed in the 1994 Genocide.
Rwanda – known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, and home to one third of the world’s population of remaining mountain gorillas – is the newest member of the Commonwealth, and the second country (alongside Mozambique) in the Commonwealth without historic UK ties.
They are a global leader in Gender Equality – becoming the first nation in the world to elect a majority of women MPs and continuing to hold the largest percentage of women in parliament in the world, which stands at 64% today.
It will be the second General Assembly to be held on the African continent this decade, with Kampala, Uganda hosting the meeting in 2012.