The Rwandan Foreign Minister, Richard Sezibera has said the country is preparing for up to 10,000 guests and will require an equal number of hotel rooms to be able to accommodate all the delegates for the high level Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) due in Kigali next year.
Sezibera was yesterday responding to MPs’ queries about the progress made in preparing for the meeting, as the ministry presented its budget framework for 2019/20 before the parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony.
“Preparations for the meeting are progressing well in terms of logistics. We have already reserved over 8,000 hotel rooms because the meeting will be attended by between 8,000 and 10,000 delegates,” he said.
According to the Rwandan Foreign Minister, these include five-star rooms for at least 52 heads of state, CEOs and among others.
“What gives us hope that the rooms will be available is that some delegates are coming to do their own reservations in hotels they choose,” Sezibera said.
Africa Tembelea has also learnt that the delegates will not convene in one day, as there will be participants to several side meetings that are related to the main CHOGM summit.
At national level, Sezibera said, government has also set up a ministerial steering committee as well as a task force by the foreign affairs permanent secretary that will lead the preparations.
The taskforce is composed of two arms; one of logistics led by Rwanda Convention Bureau and the policy arm led by Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, Rwanda’s High Commissioner in UK alongside James Kimonyo and a person in charge of its secretariat.
“We have proposed five CHOGM themes to be discussed which include governance and rule of law, ICT and innovation, youth, energy and environment, trade and business,” he said.
Adding that, there is a first policy draft with ideas content prepared in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and they will host the first consultative meeting on June 17.
– CHOGM –
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.
In April last year, during the 25th meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth of Nations in the United Kingdom, Rwanda was chosen to host the 2020 summit.
Held after every two years, the Summit is chaired by the Queen of United Kingdom and brings together heads of state of countries, most of whom former British colonies – with a combined population of about 2.4 billion.
It is however expected that Prince Charles of Wales, the Queen’s son and next head of the British monarch, will chair the summit, due to the advanced age of his mother, who will be 94 next year.