By MOHAMMED M. MUPENDA *
The Secretary General of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland, says selecting Rwanda as the host of CHOGM 2020 meeting is innovative and new.
In the interview she had with Pan African Visions during the Madrid COP 25 Forum,Hon. Patricia Scotland said CHOGM member states are “excited” about the 26th meeting which will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre during the week starting 22nd June, 2020.
For her, the selection of Rwanda was innovative and new hinging on the fact that the country is the youngest member of the organization while it is the second time for this meeting to be held in Africa for the last 15 years.
“This is going to be the second time that we are going to be in Africa in the last 10, 15 years. The last time was in Uganda. We now are going to go to Rwanda, and Rwanda is the youngest member of our family. So that is also innovative and new,” Hon. Patricia said.
CHOGM 2020 will be held under the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’. The discussions will revolve around five identified sub-themes that are Governance and Rule of Law, ICT and Innovation, Youth, Environment, and Trade.
“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,” said President Paul Kagame of Rwanda while officially launching CHOGM 2020 in video message that featured him with Hon. Patricia on 24th September, 2019.
“By connecting, innovating and transforming, the Commonwealth opens up scope for mobilising the talent of people of all ages and backgrounds,” Kagame added.
“I think the youth demographic we have now is a real opportunity. It is 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 fulfill their potential,” Patricia underpinned in the video.
Rwanda joined commonwealth in 2009 and became the second member state with no colonial ties with the United Kingdom, following Mozambique.
The 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will bring in Kigali leaders from all 53 Commonwealth countries that have the population estimated to be 2.4 billion.
Leaders are expected to discuss ways the contemporarily Commonwealth can transform societies, in accordance with its charter values of democracy, multilateralism, sustainable development, and empowerment of women and youth.
*Mohammed M. Mupenda is a news correspondent and freelance reporter, who has written for publications in the United States and abroad. He is also a French and East African language interpreter.