CHOGM brought together the Commonwealth Heads of Governments as well as ministers and business leaders. They were hosted by the Rwandan Government in Kigali which allowed them to show the world the transformation they have undergone and demonstrate why they are a great place to visit and invest in.
As a champion of Rwanda, Lord Dolar Popat fought hard to ensure that they were able to host it. Hosting CHOGM in Rwanda also helped the UK demonstrates its shift in focus towards increasing trade and cooperation between the UK and the Commonwealth. As a country that was not a former British Colony, Rwanda is unique in being a part of the Commonwealth but them joining shows that the Commonwealth welcomes all those wishing to work together based on shared history and values.
Key developments that happened at CHOGM included the welcome of two new countries, Gabon and Togo to the Commonwealth. Commonwealth leaders adopted a Living Lands Charter which commits all members to safeguard global land resources while taking coordinated action on climate change. They also launched a Commonwealth Blue Charter Project Incubator to support Commonwealth Ocean States in cultivating and scaling-up projects that protect the marine environment.
Lord Popat represented Her Majesty’s Government as the Trade Envoy to Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC at CHOGM and helped shape significant deals including a cooperation agreement between Gridworks, a UK company and the Ugandan government worth up to £73 million. This deal will help Uganda increase the percentage of energy it creates from renewable sources.
A key figure in attendance was Prince Charles who represented the Queen as the Head of the Commonwealth. Lord Popat had the opportunity to meet Prince Charles along with key figures of the Rwanda and Ugandan Governments.
Discussing the success of CHOGM, Lord Popat commented, "CHOGM was a great success, and I am glad to have been able to represent Her Majesty’s Government as the Trade Envoy to Rwanda, Uganda and DRC. Rwanda did a fantastic job of hosting CHOGM and ensuring everyone felt welcomed. I am glad to have played a role in ensuring they were able to host it and look forward to continue working with the Rwandan Government to further strengthen our trading relationship."