Rwanda will not, as earlier planned, host the ninth biennial Leon H. Sullivan Summit next year as the event would coincide with other national programmes.
A Sullivan Foundation communiqué released Monday stressed that Rwanda has passed the torch to neighbouring Kenya as the timing of the Summit conflicts with national activities.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rosemary Museminali confirmed this position late yesterday.
“Rwanda found that it was colliding with other national programmes next year. We talked to them (Sullivan Foundation) and asked them to move it to another country,” Museminali told The New Times outside Parliament buildings in Kimihurura.
“The Government of Rwanda has agreed to pass its host duties to its neighbour, the Republic of Kenya,” reads the Sullivan Foundation statement.
Museminali further elaborated that Government was facilitating the events relocation to Kenya.
“They requested us to try and see if it can be moved to another East African country and we contacted Kenya – they received it well and, immediately went into discussions and it’s now going to be held in Kenya,” said Museminali.
“We are cooperating in all ways and, we believe that Rwanda will benefit from the Leon Sullivan summit in Kenya since we are also an East African Community (EAC) country,” the Minister noted, pointing out that the decision was well received by the Foundation.
“Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been most gracious throughout this entire process, and his unselfish decision in allowing Kenya to take the lead is consistent with his character,” the statement quotes Chairman of the Summit Ambassador Carlton A. Masters as saying.
It also stresses that the move to Kenya does not affect the focus of the Summit, which was intended to involve all five countries of the East African Community (EAC).
The Leon Sullivan Foundation was named after its founder Rev. Leon H. Sullivan of North Carolina, USA.
The Foundation is inspired by the life and principles of Sullivan and its many goings-on include promoting political and entrepreneurial leadership of the African Diaspora.
Such Summits have been held in eight other African countries, including Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon and Nigeria, with the most recent one in Tanzania.