Ten years after its admission to the Commonwealth fraternity, the Republic of Rwanda has won the right to host the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Rwanda became the second country after Mozambique that was not a colony of Britain, to be admitted to the Commonwealth.
This has been confirmed in a video that featured Rwandan president Paul Kagame and the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.
Uganda hosted CHOGM in 2007, an event that was characterised with huge loss of public resources through dubious procurement deals that involved senior government officials.
Kagame and Scotland announced that CHOGM 2020 will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre during the week starting June 22. The meeting, one of the biggest regular meetings of Heads of States, after the UN General Assembly, is regarded as a lucrative event especially in terms of tourism.
The 2020 CHOGM will run under the theme; ‘Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’. Five sub-themes have been identified for discussion: Governance and Rule of Law, ICT & Innovation, Youth, Energy and Environment, and Trade.
President Kagame hailed his country’s selection saying: “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.
He added: “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 noted: “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.”
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.