Several countries will support Rwanda’s bid to join the Commonwealth club during the forthcoming summit to be held in the islands of Trinidad and Tobago later this year.
The Commonwealth is predominantly made up of former British colonies and it so far has 53 states.
Joseph Kabakeza, the Director General of Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that India, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Singapore and Trinidad and Tobago declared their support for Rwanda’s bid.
Rwanda applied to join in 2003 despite its historic ties with Francophone countries.
Mozambique, the only Commonwealth member without historical UK ties joined 12 years ago.
The East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania already expressed their willingness to support Rwanda’s bid.
Britain and Australia, who are among the most influential Commonwealth members also recently declared their support.
“We are trying to lobby in all the meetings we attend with Commonwealth member countries and, nobody says no. “Kabakeza said. “You find them enthusiastic and are really willing to see Rwanda in the Commonwealth.”
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged his government’s support during a meeting with President Paul Kagame in London earlier this week.
The Commonwealth constitutes over 40 per cent of the World Trade Organization making it influential in global trade.
Member countries handle trade worth $2.8 trillion annually and with foreign direct investment outflows of $100 billion, which account for more than 20 per cent of international trade and investment.
“If the current momentum keeps as it is and promises are honored, on the whole, we don’t see any reason as to why we might not accede to the Commonwealth in November,” Kabakeza said confidently.
The other states that have applied to join the grouping are Algeria, Yemen, Sudan, Israel and Palestine.