Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Dr Richard Sezibera said Thursday that government was in advanced stages of planning for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2020, also known as CHOGM 2020, due in Kigali.
Sezibera told the Lower Chamber’s budget and economy committee that already, more than 8,000 rooms have been secured to host the Heads of Government and other delegates.
“We expect to receive between 8,000 and 10,000 delegates who will attend the different segments of the CHOGM,” he said, adding “It is planned that some will be coming and departing when their segment is completed, and then others will arrive.”
CHOMGM is organized in several segments including; the Summit where the Queen and others leaders converge, Business Forum, People’s Forum, Youth Forum and Women’s Forum.
Dr Sezibera confirmed that government was planning for 52 Heads of State and Governments, and that their five-star accommodation is available.
It will be the first time Rwanda is hosting such a large gathering. Other such events have brought not more than 5,000 delegates like the ongoing Transform Africa Summit 2019.
Rwanda joined the Commonwealth bloc on November 29, 2009 at the CHOGM in Trinidad and Tobago. It had applied a year before to become member number 54.
It was chosen to host CHOGM 2020 at the last CHOGN in London April last year.
In 2007, neighboring Uganda hosted the CHOGM of that year, which was said to have attracted 4,000 delegates including the Queen.
Out of the 53 other members, Kigali will be planning for 52 presidents and prime ministers. To have an idea of how many leaders will be coming, here is how previous CHOGM faired.
UK 2018: 52
Australia 2011: 36
Trinidad 2009: 34
Uganda 2007: 36
Malta 2005: 38
Nigeria 2003: 38
South Africa 1999: 47
Scotland 1997: 47