Commonwealth summit in Kigali 2020 and so…
Written by: George Kalisa
Thursday, May 17th, 2018, 11:37
Rwanda which only ascended to the commonwealth club of nations in 2009, one of the latest entrants, has been selected as the host for the 2020 commonwealth summit at this year’s commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held at the UK capital, London.
The news that has gone viral on various media platforms was broken out by the UK Prime Minister Teresa May during a press conference held at the end of the 2018 CHOGM summit. Rwanda becomes the second African nation to host CHOGM after Uganda which hosted it in 2007. Mozambique and Rwanda are the only two nations in CHOGM that have been British colonies while most of the 53 were British colonies that
This development implies growing trust and confidence in the evolution of democracy and good governance in the country that was 24 years ago in tatters. The biennial summit meeting brings together all the Heads of government from the 53 commonwealth nations. Queen Elizabeth II has been and still is the Head of the commonwealth since CHOGM was first held in Singapore in 1971 and 24 meetings have been convened.
They rotate depending on invitations by member states. Rwanda outperformed FijiandMalaysia though the latter withdrew its invitation in the process. CHOGM is held every after two years and it was only interrupted twice.
What does it mean for Rwandato host CHOGM?
During the Malt CHOGM summit in November 2015 Prime Minister David Cameron called on Commonwealth nations to take a lead in the fight against corruption, extremism and climate change.
“Corruption was a cancer at the heart of so many problems we face,” observed Cameron.
“Corruption wrecks economies, it prevents development, it corrodes our societies – it can even foment terrorism as people give up hope in good and host government,” he added.
Besides Rwanda’s undoubted ability to host CHOGM there are numerous implications linked to the choice of Rwanda being a host nation.
Rwanda’s political stability and steadfast evolution of democracy and stance on good governance has won country fame at the global level.
In retrospective of the former Prime Minister, David Cameron’s call in Malta, Rwanda is one of the few nations worldwide and in Africa that have vigilantly responded to this call.
With its stance on zero tolerance to corruption, Rwanda is the third country in Africa in as far as leading the corruption fight is concerned.
The Corruption Perception Index 2017 ranked Rwanda the third least country in Africaand 48th least nation globally. Botswana is the least corrupt in Africa and in the 34th position globally followed by Seychelles which was put in the 36th position. Two thirds of the nations ranked below 50 per cent.
Hence, Rwanda has steadily worked for its place at the international level and in particular the Commonwealth club of nations through the sustainability of and unswerving stance to fight against corruption which is in line with the Commonwealth agreements.
Secondly, CHOGM will increase Rwanda’s visibility and image at the global level. CHOGM summit is one of the most prestigious international meetings that worldwide attention and media.
According to this media reports Rwanda is a regional leader in developing smart cities blueprint, which has gone a long way in fostering the application of technology in urban management.
Apart from being a spotless city with manicured gardens and spectacular sceneries, the presence of modern hotels like the Radisson Blu &Convention Centre the first of its kind in the region and smooth road network, least pollution and traffic compared to cities like Cairo, Lagos and Kinshasa make it the most confortable city to host such high profile meetings. Thus, the decision to have Rwanda host the next CHOGM is seen by many analysts in the region as most informed and rational.
Needless to mention, Rwanda’s economy will have a boost since foreign exchange accruing to the CHOGM summit in a country where corruption is taboo will leave a visible impact. Right from preparation throughout the meeting the domestic economy will be smiling due to an anticipated increase in dollars into the country.
The innovations of Rwanda’s development board (RDB) to promote tourism, particularly the MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and events), launched in 2014, are fast paying off. CHOGM will, thus, increase the motivation of the development body and all stakeholders for performance ranging from hotel and property owners, conference centres, logistic firms to tourism board and travel agencies.
The AU summit that signed the Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area protocol (AfCFTA) was recently in Kigali. Other high profile meetings hosted by Rwanda are: World Economic Forum for Africa, Next Einstein Forum and Transform Africa.