Preparations for the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM) are in full gear. An estimated 10,000 delegates are expected and it will be one of the largest meetings the country has hosted.
Local organisers are aware of the fact and it will be the largest stage where the country can prove its organizational pedigree. A successful CHOGM will surely boost Rwanda’s Meetings Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE) credentials.
Rwanda has been tested before – albeit at a smaller scale – when in July 2016 it hosted the 27th summit of the African Union. The then chairperson of the AU Commission Nkosazana Zuma was full of praises for the organization saying it was the best-organized summit the organization had ever had.
That is the kind of approval that one can take to the bank and the country should work hard to surpass to prove that Zuma’s praises were not in vain.
But the country should not rest on its laurels thinking that it “has arrived” as far as international meetings go; there is one particular area that needs organisers’ attention – moderators.
While local businesses cash in on the windfall by providing many services, whenever the government organizes major meetings, it tends to “import” moderators, especially foreign media personalities.
While it's possible that such high profile individuals bring something extra to the meeting, it is time to head-hunt closer to home, even among us. We are not in short of good and articulate moderators, they are there, they just lack exposure.
That is one area Rwanda Convention Bureau should look into as it is an area that has been neglected.