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Video: Kagame Speaks on Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda

by Dan Ngabonziza
6:50 pm

The next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has been officially launched in a video message from the President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and the Commonwealth Secretary-General.

President Paul Kagame and Secretary-General Patricia Scotland announced that CHOGM 2020 will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre during the week starting 22 June next year.

Leaders from all 53 Commonwealth countries are expected to attend. The theme for the meeting is ‘Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’, a statement from the Government reads in part.

According to the statement, five sub-themes have been identified for discussion including: Governance and Rule of Law, ICT and Innovation, Youth, Environment, and Trade.

Building on progress since CHOGM 2018 in London, leaders are expected to discuss ways the contemporary Commonwealth can transform societies, in accordance with Commonwealth Charter values of democracy, multilateralism, sustainable development, and empowerment of women and youth.

In the video that accompanied the statement, President Kagame said: “It will be a great pleasure to welcome leaders of the Commonwealth when they gather in Kigali. We will work hard to make everybody feel Rwanda is an extension of their home,”

“The distinctive aspect of CHOGM 2020 will be connectivity including what young people can do with technology to create vibrant societies and develop our economies.”

Secretary-General Scotland stated: “I think the youth demographic we have now is a real opportunity. It’s going to be a very exciting chance for us to enable our young people to develop and deploy the skills they need so they can fulfil their potential,”

By connecting, innovating and transforming, the Commonwealth opens up scope for mobilising the talent of people of all ages and backgrounds,” She said.

As well as the meeting of heads of government, the week will include a meeting of foreign ministers and forums to engage young people, civil society, women and the business community.

In July this year, Rwanda said it was “gratified” to have received massive support from Commonwealth members including East African Community Member States as it prepares to host Commonwealth Heads of State and Government (CHOGM).

In April last year, Rwanda was voted to host the summit, regarded as one of the most expensive gathering of world leaders – after defeating Pacific island nation of Fiji to become the first African country since neighbouring Uganda in 2007.

Africa has the biggest membership of the Commonwealth (19) followed by the Caribbean and Americas (13). In the East African Community, members include Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Kenya.

Next year, the UK will conclude its two-year tenure as Chair-in-Office when Rwanda hosts the CHOGM and assumes the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office until 2022.

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