ALLAFRICA 10 MAR 2020
Rwanda on Monday, March 9, joined member countries of Commonwealth to celebrate the Commonwealth Day.
This year’s celebration runs under the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’.
The event was marked by raising the Commonwealth flag at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) by officers from Rwanda National Police.
KCC will host the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2020) that will take place in June this year.
The ceremony of raising the Commonwealth flag, which is done by every member country of this bloc on this day, brings greater understanding and appreciation of the values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter (a document of the values and aspirations which unite the Commonwealth).
Rwanda joined the Commonwealth in 2009, becoming the second member state to be admitted into this organisation without any direct colonial ties to Britain, after Mozambique.
The organization is now made up of 54 member states with a population of 2.4 billion people, a third of the world’s population.
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Vincent Biruta said in a tweet that the celebration is an affirmation of strong unity of the Commonwealth’s population.
Today Rwandans join over 2.4 billion people of the Commonwealth to mark the #CommonwealthDay as an affirmation of the richness of our vast diversity and strong unity. Happy #CommonwealthDay!
“Today Rwandans join over 2.4 billion people of the Commonwealth to mark the Commonwealth Day as an affirmation of the richness of our vast diversity and strong unity,” Biruta tweeted on Monday.
Speaking to The New Times, Olivier Nduhungirehe, State Minister for East African Community in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said that Rwanda values its membership in this organisation.
He said: “It’s an important international organization; there are not only values and principles in this organization, but also other measures that ease exchange of human capital and trade within member states.”
Rwanda’s preparedness ahead of CHOGM 2020
In 2018, Rwanda was selected as host of the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CHOGM 2020 is expected to draw about 10,000 delegates, including Heads of State and Government from the 54 member states.
Nduhungirehe highlighted that activities are ongoing in a bid of ensuring a successful event.
He said: “Preparations of CHOGM 2020 are going well,” adding that: “Several meetings have been held and will continue to take place for us to ensure a successful event in June this year.”
The Government has allocated over Rwf20.1 billion to preparatory activities ahead of CHOGM, which include city roads upgrade among others.
In a recent interview with the UK High Commissioner to Rwanda, Jo Lomas, she said that Rwanda is on the right track to host this international event.
“What I see is a huge amount of hard work going into this. This is in different aspects, the building of roads, preparation of personnel, government officials working on details of logistics and accommodation, those who are building hotels among others. Four months to go, there is still work to be done but it’s also where we were two years ago when we hosted CHOGM in the UK,” she noted in February this year.