Sierra Leone’s President, Julius Maada Bio has attended the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, and held bilateral meetings with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, and the Prime Minister of Belize, John Briceno.

At the opening ceremony, the incoming Chair-in-office of the Commonwealth of Nations, H.E. Paul Kagame welcomed visiting Heads of Government and delegates to the 26th CHOGM and the 6th in Africa.

“Over her 70 years of service, the Commonwealth has grown both in numbers and in the scope of its ambition. The fact of holding this meeting in Rwanda, a new member with no historical connection to the British Empire, expresses our choice to continue reimagining the Commonwealth for a changing world,” President Kagame said.

The outgoing Chair-in-office, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, spoke about several issues including the effects of Covid-19 pandemic and threats posed by climate change on Commonwealth countries, the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on food supply systems and the progress made through the girls’ education challenge initiative, which ensures that girls can gain at least 12 years of quality education.

In delivering the keynote address, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, expressed his optimism for the Commonwealth: “Our ingenuity, knowledge and ideas, our courage and determination, are truly our ‘Common Wealth’. By unlocking our potential, we can build a future in which all our people have a stake, ensuring that our Commonwealth Charter represents not just words on a page, but the lived experience of all. And, in so doing, we will equip our children and grandchildren to be agents of a better future”.

Following the opening ceremony, President Bio held productive bilateral meetings on the margins of CHOGM to strengthen bilateral relations with leaders of the respective countries and discussed investment opportunities.