KIGALI - President Paul Kagame yesterday, accompanied by the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, left for England for an official visit where he will be attending the Commonwealth Day, in London.
During the visit, as the highlight of Commonwealth Day celebrations, Rwanda will be formally welcomed to the Commonwealth Club of Nations, at a ceremony hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
President Kagame will meet Her Majesty the Queen, deliver a lecture at the Royal Commonwealth Society and will take part in celebratory multi-faith worship at Westminster Abbey.
He is expected, alongside Patrick Manning, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago who is the current chair-in-office of the Commonwealth and Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, the Commonwealth Secretary General, to participate in the hoisting ceremony of the Rwandan Flag.
After the flag-raising ceremony, 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 news conference, after which Sharma will conduct a traditional ‘familiarisation tour’ for President Kagame, regarding the Commonwealth and its traditions and formal practices.
In addition to Commonwealth business, President Kagame is expected to take part in meetings with business leaders and various officials.
Government officials on the delegation include, Minister for Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo and Rwanda Development Board Deputy CEO/Business Operations, Clare Akamanzi.
Rwanda was admitted to the Commonwealth in November 2009, during the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Commonwealth, is comprised of mainly former British colonies and Rwanda became the 54th member and second country, that had no historical links to Britain, to join the group. Mozambique was the first.
The commonwealth day is marked every second Monday of March.