URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame yesterday received the visiting Commonwealth Secretary-General (SG), Kamalesh Sharma, at Urugwiro Village, two months after the country was admitted as the 54th member.
Addressing the press shortly after the meeting, Sharma, who said he was proud to be the first Commonwealth SG to visit Rwanda after its admission.
He disclosed that during discussions with the President, they focussed on a number of areas where the organization will be partnering with Rwanda to foster development.
“I am here as the first Secretary-General to welcome Rwanda into the Commonwealth, and it is a very historic moment. All of us are relishing this moment,” he said
“We had very substantive discussions on where we can both give value to each other. The tremendous achievements of this country will be of great benefit to the organisation, to the members”.
He added that the Commonwealth being a value-based organisation, and one that moves on a wide front, there is a lot of scope that ‘naturally’ exists between the two (Rwanda and the Commonwealth) and that it was ‘quite easy’ to draw lines along which they will operate.
“The next step now is for the formal ceremony that will take place in the month of March in London for the installation of the flag of Rwanda and on Commonwealth day, I look forward to receiving the President,” Sharma said.
He noted that the main areas of cooperation will be governance and human resource development.
According to Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, the talks were also meant to initiate Rwanda into the group and how it can work with existing member states in the areas of economy, education, youth, ICT and trade.
She noted that despite Rwanda being two months old into the body, the country was chosen to host the Commonwealth Youth Conference to be held September this year.