KIGALI - The visiting Secretary-General (SG) of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, yesterday formally welcomed Rwanda into the bloc at a function held at the parliamentary buildings.
Addressing Rwandan MPs, Sharma listed key areas on which the Heads of State Summit in Trinidad and Tobago based to admit Rwanda into the 53-member States bloc, and recognized the Parliament’s efforts in the process of admitting Rwanda.
“It is my pleasure, on behalf of the 53 other member countries of the Commonwealth, to be here to welcome Rwanda formally as the newest member,” Sharma said.
“The commonwealth’s decision to welcome Rwanda was a collective act of good will and of affirmation.
“It was the recognition of hills which you have climbed and the commitment to climb further with you”.
“The roots of Rwanda of today are strong and old….for 15 years now, you have climbed and climbed – hill after hill,” said the Commonwealth boss.
He, however, said that he did not come with a specific package to present to Rwanda, but added that he intends to send his deputy soon to draw a roadmap of how the bloc will work closely with the country in specific areas.
“We have examined quite closely your vision 2020 as you transform it into reality; we will be aligning ourselves with the vision, goals and aspirations of Rwanda,” he added.
During his meeting with the Chairpersons of the Parliamentary and Senatorial standing Committees, the SG said that there are many opportunities in the bloc that Rwanda can venture into.
Mr. Kamalesh Sharma’s meeting with the Parliament was attended by the Speaker of Parliament, Rose Mukantabana, the President of the Senate, Vincent Biruta, and Chairpersons of both Chambers’ Standing Committees.