Rwanda will stage the 2019 Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly this week with sports leaders from across the Commonwealth set to arrive in the capital city Kigali for this prestigious event.
The General Assembly will take place from 3-5 September at the flagship Kigali Convention Centre with the event marking the ten-year anniversary of Rwanda joining the list of Commonwealth nations in 2009. It also comes just a year before the country hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020.
The 2019 General Assembly will see the quadrennial elections take place for every position on the Executive Board and Sports Committee as well as the approval of a refreshed Transformation 2022 strategy and the continued evolution of the CGF’s Governance and Regulations. Commonwealth Secretary General the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC will also be in attendance and deliver a formal address to the Assembly.
In addition, deliberations will take place to further evolve the Commonwealth Games Sports Programme while the new CGF Brand and Logo will be formally showcased for the very first time.
Rwanda itself is the newest member of the Commonwealth, and the second country (as well as Mozambique) in the Commonwealth without historic UK ties.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin DBE, who will stand unopposed for re-election in Rwanda, said: “We are delighted to be in Rwanda for our 2019 General Assembly at what is a very important moment for the Commonwealth Sports Movement.
“The gathering will be an opportunity to celebrate and engage with Rwanda, the youngest member of our sporting family whose membership of the Commonwealth is unique.
“With a packed agenda and the next Commonwealth Games at Birmingham 2022 getting closer, the General Assembly will be an excellent opportunity for our membership to help shape an exciting future for our Movement and I am delighted Rwanda is providing the perfect backdrop for this.”
Rwandan Minister for Sports and Culture, Espérance Nyirasafari, said: “Hosting this meeting is yet another milestone in the country’s sports development journey as we move forward towards our shared goals as the Commonwealth of Nations.
“As citizens of the Commonwealth, the CGF General Assembly compels us to recall and strengthen our cooperation towards the development of our nations and the need for greater cooperation for the development of our people, and the role of sports in bringing this aspiration into reality.”
Rwanda Commonwealth Games Association President Amb. Valens Munyabagisha said: “This is a great opportunity to not only build the profile of Rwanda but also the wider Commonwealth and contribute to our shared sporting, social and economic development.
“Therefore the 2019 CGF General Assembly is an important stepping stone for CHOGM 2020, which we are hosting soon and it is also an opportunity to move the Commonwealth sport movement to the next level by sharing knowledge and passion.”
Rwanda, known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, hosted a CGF Africa Regional Meeting in March 2017 while this General Assembly will be the second to be held on the African continent this decade, with Uganda hosting the meeting in 2012.
The country made their Commonwealth Games debut at Delhi 2010, taking part in Athletics, Boxing, Road Cycling and Swimming. They won their first ever Games medal at the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games with Bronze in Women’s Beach Volleyball. During Gold Coast 2018, all Commonwealth Countries observed one minute’s silence to pay respect to the Tutsi killed in the 1994 Genocide.
Rwanda are a global leader in Gender Equality – becoming the first nation in the world to elect a majority of women MPs and continuing to hold the largest percentage of women in parliament in the world, which stands at 64% today.