Rwanda President Paul Kagame has said preparations are in high gear to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020.
CHOGM is a biennial summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations.
“We became part of Commonwealth for many reasons. We joined it because of trade, exchange of culture, cooperation in security etc,” Kagame told press on Friday.
He added: “We asked to host #CHOGM2020 like all members and I am happy to announce preparations for the summit are going as planned.”
CHOGM 2020 will be the 26th meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The summit is scheduled to be held in Rwanda. The meeting was originally expected to be held in Malaysia but the decision of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak not to attend CHOGM 2018 due to political uncertainty at home meant that he was unable to formally propose Malaysia as host.
It was announced that Commonwealth leaders had accepted Rwanda’s offer to host the meeting instead of Fiji which had also made an offer.
It will be the first Commonwealth Summit held in a country that is not a former British colony or dominion or the United Kingdom itself.
The position of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, held by the government leader of the CHOGM host country, will be transferred at the summit from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the President of Rwanda, who will hold the post until the 27th CHOGM expected to be held in Samoa in 2022.
Letter to British MPs
Kagame also used the opportunity to respond to a letter by British lawmakers, saying he never received one.
In a letter to President Paul Kagame, UK legislators requested for release of incarcerated Rwandan army officer Col Tom Byabagamba and Rtd Frank Rusagara.
“I never received any letter from the MPs. Maybe it was an open letter. If they are concerned about justice, why don’t they care about the many genocide suspects they are protecting?” Kagame said.