Editorial: Hosting the Commonwealth Summit is not what matters; it is the work behind the scene

Soldiers of the Coldstream Guards with flags of the 53 Commonwealth member states in London on Thursday. Village Urugwiro.

Leaders of the 53-member Commonwealth of Nations who met this week in London, selected Rwanda as the next host of the Summit slated for 2020.

Rwanda’s choice is of great significance for two distinct reasons; it is the youngest member of the organization, having joined recently in 2009. It is also one of the only two countries – together with Mozambique – that were not colonised by the United Kingdom.

Rwanda’s choice is a vote of confidence in the role it plays in the organization. It is also a recognition of its organizational capacity having hosted many international summits in the last two years, its security and adequate infrastructure.

The country’s choice to put MICE (Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Events) on top of the agenda seems to have been the right choice. The construction of the Kigali Convention Centre and the adjacent Radisson Blu Hotel, the many high-end accommodation facilities that have come up, have all added to that allure as one of the top conference destinations on the continent.

All that was not a matter of chance, but a result of careful planning as well as that Rwandan trait of punching beyond its weight; but with a carefully aimed and calculated punch.

The country’s achievements have endeared it to many and attracted a multitude of admirers but that has not gone to its head but instead strived to improve and push its population not to rest on its laurels.

The journey has not been without its challenges but the government successfully managed to rally the population behind its policies, and today we are seeing the dividends. But with Commonwealth or no Commonwealth, there is something definitely that we are doing right, so we should stay the course.


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