Prince Charles and his wife Duchess Camilla have announced that they will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda slated for June this year.
The Prince of Wales is the Head of Commonwealth since the last CHOGM that was held in the UK in 2018 when he succeeded Queen Elizabeth II.
The current date was announced in January after CHOGM was postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Postponing CHOGM twice affected businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, whose owners had hoped to leverage on the opportunity and bounce back from the pandemic-incurred losses. The announcement has given businesses optimism.
Up to 10,000 delegates from all the 53 Commonwealth countries are expected to attend the event this year.
The biennial summit was last held in East Africa in 2007 in Uganda’s capital Kampala when Queen Elizabeth II attended the meeting.
“As the world works to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and in this Jubilee year, it is more important than ever that the countries of the Commonwealth come together. As a family of some 2.6 billion people from fifty-four nations across six continents, the Commonwealth represents a rich diversity of traditions, experience and talents which can help to build a more equal, sustainable, and prosperous future.
“With this shared sense of common purpose, and in view of recent, enforced postponements, my wife and I are delighted to be attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, in June,” Prince Charles said in a statement released on March 14.
The meeting is expected to discuss ways to address the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Commonwealth event is expected to raise Rwanda’s profile as a tourism and MICE destination as the country seeks ways to boost tourism, which is among the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
With three months left, Kigali is currently undergoing transformations, including improving road infrastructure and the construction of new access routes around the city in a bid to decongest it and facilitate smooth transportation for the delegates.
Rwanda has allocated $4.7 million towards preparation to host CHOGM).
Rwanda also recently eased Covid-19 guidelines as its economy gradually recovers.
The curfew that had been in place for two years was lifted, meetings and social events were given a go-ahead and vaccine mandates were tightened.
The country has fully vaccinated over 60 percent of its 12.9 million population and aims to reach 70 percent by June.