Kigali hosts Commonwealth Day

Local associations, on Monday, showcased their products during the Commonwealth Day celebrations at the UK High Commissioner’s residence in Kigali.
Llewellyn-Jones (R) talks to his guests during the function yesterday.  The New Times/ T. Kisambira.
Llewellyn-Jones (R) talks to his guests during the function yesterday. The New Times/ T. Kisambira.

Local associations, on Monday, showcased their products during the Commonwealth Day celebrations at the UK High Commissioner’s residence in Kigali.

The event brought together envoys from Commonwealth countries accredited to Rwanda to celebrate the links they share as members of a diverse and dynamic global family, the Modern Commonwealth.

During the occasion, the association of potters of Rwanda and a local crafts company, Coporwa and Gahaya Links, exhibited their artifacts to the guests.

“Our association consists of community of about 33,000 people from different parts of the country. We have been operating for over five years supporting our members and enabling them to sell their products,” said Juvenal Sebishwi, the executive director of Coporwa.

“I am happy to have been given a platform to showcase our products to people from different countries. This is a big opportunity for us to expand our market.”

Janet Nkubana, the Gahaya Links managing director, said, “I am looking forward to expanding our market in commonwealth nations, especially in Europe. This is a good platform for us to expand our reach, because we have been exporting our products to the US only.”


Speaking at the occasion, Benedict Llewellyn-Jones, the British High Commissioner to Rwanda, said that this year’s theme reminds of the importance of striving to increase untapped opportunities through an entrepreneurial spirit.

“This whole week is Commonwealth Week, a time when the Commonwealth families of 54 nations celebrate the enterprising spirit which unlocks opportunities in small rural communities, large urban centres, businesses, governments and civil society,” Llewellyn-Jones added.

Rwanda joins


He said the two associations were invited to spread awareness among the Commonwealth business community of what they have achieved and to encourage some of them to consider raising their profile and to support their members.

The Commonwealth comprises of mainly former British colonies. Rwanda became the 54th member and second country that had no historical links to Britain, to join the group through State application during the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government summit in Kampala. Mozambique was the first.

Every year, on the second Monday in March, the Commonwealth Day is celebrated with a unique event in London’s Westminster Abbey, coordinated by the Royal Commonwealth Society.

The day takes a different theme each year and this year it was held under the theme ‘Opportunity through Enterprise.’

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