Monday March 8, will be the special day when Rwanda’s national flag is set to be raised at Marlborough House-London, the Commonwealth secretariat, to mark Rwanda’s entry into the group.
President Paul Kagame and Patrick Manning, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago who is the current chair-in-office of the Commonwealth will preside over the ceremony to be observed by Kamalesh Sharma, the Commonwealth Secretary General.
After the flag-raising ceremony, Prime Minister Manning and President Kagame will address Commonwealth High Commissioners and invited guests in the grounds of Marlborough House, to mark Rwanda’s first Commonwealth Day.
The two leaders will also hold a press conference before Sharma conducts a traditional ‘familiarisation tour’ to President Kagame regarding the Commonwealth, its traditions and formal practices.
Rwanda was admitted to the Commonwealth in November 2009, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago.
Manning, Kagame and Sharma will later attend a multi-faith Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen.
During his recent visit to Rwanda to officially deliver a message of admission to President Kagame, Sharma noted that Rwanda’s entry into the group will be beneficial on both ends, with Rwanda benefiting from the group while at the same time taking some benefits to other member states.
The Commonwealth is comprised of mainly former British colonies and Rwanda became the 54th member and second country to join the group without any colonial connections to the British, Mozambique was the first.