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    Rwanda to host first Commonwealth Summit in Africa in 15 years

    February 1, 2022

    Paul Kagame: ‘The long-awaited meeting will be an important occasion to address the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic’

     Image: UN

    RWANDA is to host the first Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Africa in 15 years, the last having been held in Uganda in 2007.

    The meeting in Kigali will take place during the week of June 20, the Commonwealth Secretariat has announced in London.

    Rwanda was supposed to have hosted the 26th CHOGM in 2020 but it was called off because of the pandemic and pushed to 2021, only for this to be postponed also.

    The Rwandan President, Paul Kagame said his country would welcome delegates “for a safe and productive CHOGM Rwanda 2022”.

    He added: “The last two years have made it clear to us that we are more connected than ever before and we must work together to achieve the tangible and sustainable results we want.

    “The long-awaited meeting will be an important occasion to come together to address the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to build on innovative technological and economic opportunities to solve other key problems facing our citizens.”

    Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, said she was “delighted that the Commonwealth family can finally be reunited, four years on from our last CHOGM in London”.

    She said the meeting in Rwanda “will give us a real opportunity to reaffirm the values that bind the Commonwealth together and focus on vital issues”.

    These included the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling climate change and poverty, boosting trade and promoting sustainable development.

    They were “all issues that can only be dealt with decisively through multilateral cooperation and mutual support”.

    During the pandemic, ministerial meetings were held online.

    The Secretary-General said she was looking forward “to a face-to-face” CHOGM and to Rwanda “delivering an exemplary CHOGM in Kigali”.

    She added: “I thank all Rwandans for their grace and fortitude in undertaking such detailed preparations to ensure a safe, secure and productive CHOGM that drives the Commonwealth forward in these trying times.”

    Speaking on the second postponement of CHOGM in 2021, President Kagame said the decision had not been taken lightly. 

    “The health and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens at this critical time must take precedence.

    “We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM at the appropriate time,” he added.

    The theme for CHOGM 2022 is Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.

    Leaders of the 54 Commonwealth countries meet every two years, with the last CHOGM having taken place in London in 2018 on the theme, Towards a Common Future.

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