By James Ezema
The next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has been officially launched in a video message from the President of Rwanda and the Commonwealth Secretary-General.
President Paul Kagame and Secretary-General Patricia Scotland announced that CHOGM 2020 will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre during the week starting 22 June. Leaders from all 53 Commonwealth countries are expected to attend.
The theme for the meeting is ‘Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’. Five sub-themes have been identified for discussion: Governance and Rule of Law, ICT & Innovation, Youth, Energy and Environment, and Trade.
Building on progress since CHOGM 2018 in London, leaders are expected to discuss ways the contemporary Commonwealth can transform societies, in accordance with Commonwealth Charter values of democracy, multilateralism, sustainable development, and empowerment of women and youth.
President Kagame said: “It will be a great pleasure to welcome leaders of the Commonwealth when they gather in Kigali. We will work hard to make everybody feel Rwanda is an extension of their home.
“The distinctive aspect of CHOGM 2020 will be connectivity including what young people can do with technology to create vibrant societies and develop our economies.”
Secretary-General Scotland stated: “I think the youth demographic we have now is a real opportunity. It’s going to be a very exciting chance for us to enable our young people to develop and deploy the skills they need so they can fulfil their potential.
“By connecting, innovating and transforming, the Commonwealth opens up scope for mobilising the talent of people of all ages and backgrounds.”
As well as the meeting of heads of government, the week will include a meeting of foreign ministers and forums to engage young people, civil society, women and the business community.