The 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is finally here and ready to kickoff next week in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
The delayed meeting was due to take place in Kigali in June 2020 but it has since been postponed twice due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rwanda had been selected to host this global event during the last meeting which took place in London in 2018.
CHOGM is a global meeting in which leaders from commonwealth countries converge every two years to discuss issues of common interests. The meeting is hosted by different member countries on a rotating basis. The Commonwealth was formed in 1949 as a voluntary association and it is comprised of 54 independent and equal sovereign states with a population of over 2.5 billion people.
Rwanda is the latest country to join the Commonwealth having been admitted into the organisation in 2009.
CHOGM 2022 will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 20 to 25 June. Leaders will be heading to the East African nation to reaffirm their common values and agree actions and policies to improve the lives of all their citizens. Among the key issues to be discussed during the meeting include the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, tackling poverty and climate change, promoting sustainable development, boosting trade, among others.
The theme for CHOGM 2022 is ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.’
What will be the key events during CHOGM 2022?
The official opening of CHOGM 2022 will take place on Friday 24 June and will be followed by the main high-level meetings of Heads until Saturday 25 June. But before that, there will be a series of events and meetings conducted right from the Sunday 19 June. These include the Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF), Commonwealth Women’s Forum (CWF), Ministerial Meetings which will include the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Meeting and the commonwealth Ministers Meeting on Small States.
Who will attend?
In addition to the leaders from the Commonwealth countries, the meeting will also be graced by some other high-profile individuals. Among these include the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall. The Prince of Wales, Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth II at the CHOGM 2022 in Kigali.
“As the world works to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and in this Jubilee year, it is more important than ever that the countries of the Commonwealth come together,” the prince was quoted as saying in a statement by the Commonwealth secretariat.
Recently the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland met with President Kagame and discussed the progress made in preparation for CHOGM 2022.
“It was a pleasure to meet again with His Excellency President Paul Kagame and have a productive discussion on the opportunities that CHOGM 2022 presents for Commonwealth Heads of Government to take concrete decisions on crucial issues such as COVID recovery, climate change, conflicts, building the capacity of our health systems and supporting our youth to reach their full potential.” Said the Secretary-General.
Earlier, while announcing the new date for the meeting, President Kagame stressed the importance of CHOGM in tackling key issues affecting member countries at large.
“Rwanda is pleased to welcome all delegates and participants to Kigali for a safe and productive CHOGM Rwanda 2022. 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.” Said the President.
What you should know about Rwanda
Rwanda is a small East African nation with a population of about 13 million people. The country got her independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962.
Although Rwanda is infamously known for gruesome 1994 genocide which claimed over 800,000 lives, majority of them Tutsis, the country has since made significant strides in development. Today Rwanda is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, with major improvements made in tourism, infrastructure and administration.
Rwanda is now popularly known for amazing safaris like gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park which attracts thousands of travellers who come to track these breathtaking endangered species.