Rwandan President Paul Kagame has emerged as the new Chairman of the Commonwealth of Nations, replacing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In a speech at the inauguration ceremony of Commonwealth Heads of Government in Kigali, Rwanda, Boris Johnson announced that the organization will now be presided over by the Rwandan President.
Johnson, who said he was passing the baton to President Kagame, one of the newest members of the Commonwealth, wished him success as he steps into the role of leadership for 54 countries and a third of the human population.
“One of the newest members is now in charge, and more nations are aspiring to join, which says everything about the health and vitality of our Commonwealth. For despite our differences, we are linked by an invisible common thread of values, history, and friendship.”
Speaking about his achievements as Leader of the Organization, Boris Johnson referenced the remarkable steps he took during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The UK government launched the partnership between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, which produced the world’s most popular vaccine, and during our time as president, the UK has committed to providing over 1.4 billion doses of Covid vaccines that Commonwealth countries supported.”
On his achievements in education, Prime Minister Johnson said the UK announced £212m for the Girls’ Education Challenge at the last CHOGM in London in 2018.
He said the initiative is now active in 11 Commonwealth countries, ensuring that girls can receive a quality education for at least 12 years.
Praising President Kagame’s leadership, Boris Johnson expressed optimism that the Commonwealth will make immeasurable progress when he presides over the body.
“For now, it only remains for me to thank all members of the Commonwealth for giving the UK the chance to serve as interim president.”
“And while I delegate that responsibility to President Kagame, a close friend and partner, I know he shares my boundless optimism about the future of the Commonwealth at the top of the international agenda for the benefit of all our peoples.”
In his speech, President Paul Kagame called for a united Commonwealth and pledged to work to improve the lives of the people of the Commonwealth.
The Acting President of the organization represents the Commonwealth at high-level international meetings and reinforces the role of the Commonwealth Secretary-General for Good Offices.
Good offices refers to the work of the Commonwealth in conflict prevention and resolution. Worth noting is the duration of the Chair of the Commonwealth which lasts for two years only.