Preparations of the common wealth heads of Government meeting 2020 summit (CHOGM) scheduled to take place in Rwanda are in high gear with construction of roads, accommodation expansion, hotels and other infrastructural facilities that help would help in the host the mega summit.

The City Mayor, Pudence Rubingisa talked about the on-going preparations by construction of the roads and other infrastructural facilities during a press briefing on Wednesday in Kigali.

He said there are roads upgrades going on. “We want to limit the traffic and congestion in the city during CHOGM summit. This is going to be a big summit, therefore, it requires a lot of the preparations in form of putting in place infrastructure,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rwanda is preparing to receive up to 10,000 guests during the meeting.

Rwanda joined the bloc in 2009, becoming the second member to be admitted into the commonwealth club of nations without any direct colonial ties to Britain, after Mozambique.

Rwanda will be the second African country to host the meeting after Uganda hosted it in 2007.

To host the meeting, sources at the summit in London say Rwanda was up against bids by Fiji and Malaysia, but the latter is said to have pulled out before the meeting.

The Commonwealth is a community of 53 countries – mostly former British colonies – with a combined population of about 2.4 billion.

Rwanda joined the bloc in 2009 becoming the second member to be admitted into the Commonwealth club of nations without any direct colonial ties to British, after Mozambique.

Hosting the summit is a huge endorsement to national efforts of becoming an internationally recognized meetings and conference destination.

In 2014, Rwanda developed the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) strategy that seeks to make the country a top tourism and conference hub.

Rwanda has in recent years hosted major international summits and meetings including; World Economic Forum for Africa, African Union Summit, Transform Africa, Next Einstein Forum, among others.

The 25th CHOGM was held in London in April 2018.

Commonwealth member countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Pacific. While the Commonwealth was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, Rwanda joined the bloc in 2008.

Earlier last month, Amb. James Kimonyo, the deputy policy lead for CHOGM 2020, briefed the media that they are working on a programme of the high-level meeting, under the guidance of President Kagame, the incoming chairperson of the Commonwealth.

Various topics will be discussed in the meeting on the sub-themes including governance and rule of law, ICT and innovation, youth, environment and trade and unemployment.

“Youth unemployment is a major challenge; it is a time bomb for every society; if it is not tamed, it becomes a threat to national security,” Ambassador Kimonyo added.

In May 2020, member countries will issue a communique which, after a series of consultations, assessments, and consensus, will consist of key issues to be addressed by the Heads of State.

The Express News

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