The Kigali Arena was filled with guests and locals for a concert that marked the end of a week long well attended Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm)  that was hosted by Rwanda -just-13 years after joining Mozambique in being the only countries not colonised by Britain to be admitted to the Commonwealth . At least more than than 5,000 delegates attended the meeting in Rwanda ‘s capital Kigali.

At the official opening ceremony on Friday -attended by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni who was in Kigali for the first time in four years said -“the fact of holding this meeting in Rwanda, a new member with no historical connection to the British Empire, expresses our choice to continue reimagining the Commonwealth for a changing world.” Kagame said added that -“the Commonwealth we need is on the frontlines of global challenges, not on the peripheries, watching events unfold. Our special strength is to bring issues into focus that might otherwise be overlooked.”

Chogm 2022 was held under the theme, ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.” The Prince of Wales, who represented Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth, emphasise the need to “respond to climate change and biodiversity loss that threatens our very existence … as we build back from the pandemic that has devastated so many lives.”

Other events held included Commonwealth forums on youth, women, business and civil society.

Patricia Scotland QC retained her position as the Commonwealth secretary-general. Ms Scotland—who was not backed by her native United Kingdom—was re-elected with 27 votes against 24 of Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson.

“I’m determined that when the role of Secretary-General rotates to Africa, two years from now I will hand on the baton with a stronger and more effective powerful Commonwealth than ever before,” Ms Scotland, who in 2016 became the first woman to hold the Commonwealth secretary-general post, said.

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