Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni joined leaders from 54 countries meeting in Kigali on Friday, June 24, for the official opening of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
President Museveni was received by his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame.
This is the sixth time the event is hosted by an African country. Uganda hosted the meeting in 2007.
President Museveni who received a rousing welcome by Rwandans from Katuna border to Kigali will be in Rwanda for four days.
This is the first time President Museveni is visiting Rwanda in five years on account of strained diplomatic ties. This has since improved with the intervention of the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations and Commander UPDF Land Forces Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Gen Kainerugaba made two visits to Kigali where he held various meetings with President Kagame in which solutions to existing concerns were discussed. The Rwandan President was also in Uganda recently where he attended Gen Kainerugaba's birthday dinner hosted by President Museveni at State House Entebbe. President Museveni and Kagame also held meetings in Entebbe before they met again last week in Nairobi.
Other leaders that attended the opening session include the Prince of Wales Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla along with 35 other Heads of Government.
The official opening of CHOGM will be followed by the main high-level meetings of Heads on Friday to Saturday June, 25. These were preceded by four Forums, ministerial meetings, side events and other activities that started on June 19 and attracted more than 5,000 participants from government, business, and civil society, among others.
The official Retreat for leaders will be held at Kigali’s Intare Conference Arena on June 25.
At the Leaders Retreat – unique to the Commonwealth – Heads of Government meet privately to discuss collaboration on global and Commonwealth priorities.
The Executive Sessions of the Heads of Government will be held behind closed doors, with the leaders discussing some of the most pressing issues affecting the Commonwealth and the world as a whole.
Their discussions are expected to revolve around a number of things, including climate change, youth and job creation, especially digital affiliated jobs, pandemic recovery and resilience and the impact of the geopolitical situation – with the war in Ukraine and its impact on inflation especially in developing countries.