United Kingdom commends Rwanda’s preparedness ahead of CHOGM

On 17 February 2020 at 12:52

Four months before the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting (CHOGM), the government of Rwanda is ready to host the meeting.

CHOGM is scheduled for June this year and will bring together Heads of States from 53 member countries of the Commonwealth.

The United Kingdom High Commissioner to Rwanda, Jo Lomas observed that Rwanda is on track to host CHOGM and that the country is investing enough in its preparation.

"New infrastructures are being built, personnel briefed and various institutions are ready to fulfill their part to ensure the meeting goes well. Preparing to host such a big meeting comes with challenges but Rwanda can handle them perfectly."

Ambassador Lomas explained that the Commonwealth Secretariat and the government of Rwanda are closely collaborating in anticipation of CHOGM.

"In April 2018, the UK hosted CHOGM in London, Windsor. We, therefore, have the required expertise to support Rwanda as it prepares for the meeting."

She said that CHOGM will be a platform for Rwanda to re-express its commitment towards development because some people still look at Rwanda through the 1994 genocide mirror and neglect the great strides the country has made ever since.

"Over the past 26 years, Rwanda has achieved so many great things and CHOGM will be an opportunity to showcase its potential for trade, tourism and investment activities among others."

Lomas said that the Commonwealth is home to top emerging cities in the world and that CHOGM will allow to promote trade and investment as a means to drive economic growth, create jobs and achieve a much more sustainable future.

"Rwanda has an unexploited potential for investment and leads the way in innovative projects such as the Volkswagen plant. All that shows why Rwanda is suitable for trade and investment."

During CHOGM, the position of Commonwealth Chair-in-office currently held by the government leader of the CHOGM host country will be transferred from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to President Kagame for a two-year term.

In January, this year, President Kagame attended the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London. Ambassador Lomas said that the summit opened opportunities for Rwanda to reassert its position in the Intra-Commonwealth trade sphere.

"During the UK-Africa investment summit, Rwanda launched a 3-year, fixed-rate bond worth $40 million at the London Stock Exchange. We are confident that during CHOGM, Rwanda will have access to new opportunities to reassert its position on the global market."

Talking about ongoing projects between Rwanda and the UK, Ambassador Lomas said that the UK invested more than €11 billion to tackle climate change and that it has closely been working with Rwanda Green Fund, FONERWA in encouraging private-sector-led initiatives to respond to climate and environmental challenges.

Ambassador Lomas explained that the Commonwealth Secretariat and the government of Rwanda are closely collaborating in anticipation of CHOGM.