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“Rwanda steps up to host the 2020 CHOGM”
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“Rwanda steps up to host the 2020 CHOGM”

This year’s CHOGM put the UK in the spotlight and set an ambitious agenda for youth, writes Kiiza Saddam Hussein, 27, a Commonwealth Correspondent who lives in Uganda and Rwanda, and anticipates equal success when Rwanda hosts the 2020 event.

Probably you’ve heard many stories about Rwanda, some positive others negative, but since 2000 Rwanda has been proving to be a role model for many countries stretching beyond Africa.

Different international institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have worked positively with Rwanda’s model of doing business, its political leadership and the political will under President Paul Kagame. We should be prepared to hear more good stuff about this tiny but exciting country located in the East African region next to Uganda, Kenya Tanzania, Burundi and DRC.

In April 2018, London was the point of focus as news channels were reverberating with reports about the Commonwealth and, of course, the intended marriage between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. As well, with UK Prime minister Teresa May succeeding the Malta prime minister as the Commonwealth Chair-in office, her country once again reawakened its interest in the Commonwealth following the Brexit vote that left many British and Europeans wondering about the uncertainty of the British future in the world arena.

By hosting 53 countries in the heart of the world trade and financial centre, the UK reaffirmed its footprint and commitment to invest in women and young people of the Commonwealth, and also to boost trade and social political development within the Commonwealth family.

The answer to whether or not the 2018 CHOGM was successful depends on who you ask. However, it is important to note the ambitious youth action plan that was passed at the Youth General Assembly. Among many critical points, it highlights the following:

Reform of the national curriculum in each country within the Commonwealth family to include entrepreneurship and development of a year-long entrepreneurial education program. The program would be incorporated into the curriculum of the final year of compulsory education, and the roll-out would begin with a regional pilot programme in each Commonwealth region

The establishment of a Pan-Commonwealth Fund to support the development of youth entrepreneurial endeavors, supporting them through the phases of ideation, incubation and acceleration, thus providing greater opportunities for young people to access enterprise funding

Appointment of a cross-sectoral Youth Task Team in each of the Commonwealth states to integrate and evaluate the principles of UNSCR 2250 at a national level. This Task Team will also create space to ensure young people are at the center of peace processes

Creation of existing good-practice community-based sports for development and peace interventions that recognise the role of sport in achieving the SDGs

Establishment of Climate Change and Resilience Youth Hubs in all member countries through an all-of-society approach involving youth, governments, NGO’s, academics and climate change experts

Establishment of a youth-led accountability mechanism that reports on the progress of government commitments to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Young People

What remains now is to see actualisation of all the adopted recommendations and action plans during this term of office of Teresa May as the Commonwealth Chair-in Office.

Rwanda was also among the victors at CHOGM 2018, having successfully bid to host the 2020 CHOGM in the beautiful city of Kigali. It is on record that Kigali has been a destination of many international meetings, conferences, conventions, and forums. This is a credit to the Kigali master plan program that has made Kigali stand out among many beautiful cities in Africa. For those who follow British football and have never heard about Rwanda, just watch out for the new Arsenal jersey and you will be reminded that you must visit Rwanda at least once in your lifetime.

Reach me on Twitter: @saddamhusseink

photo credit: ITU Pictures Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development Spring Meeting 2018 via photopin

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About me: I am a lawyer by profession, with an established career in human rights and climate change activism. Ultimately I believe in the values of democracy and rule of law.

I serve as  programs manager at Uganda Youth Society for Human Rights Organization. Throughout my life I have advocated for girl child rights, youth rights, women’s rights and climate action. I aspire to become a leading figure on the international level and to lead others in addressing global challenges.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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