?Rwanda has become the 54th member of the Commonwealth. The application of the African country was accepted during the 20th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which ended at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain yesterday. New Chair of the Commonwealth, T&T Prime Minister Patrick Manning, made the announcement during his closing statement. Later, a final CHOGM news conference at the same hotel, Manning elaborated on Rwanda's successful application. He added that there was a four-stage process within the Commonwealth for approving an application.
He said whatever doubts members might have had about Rwanda's application would have been dispelled, and all that was left was for the application to be accepted at CHOGM 2009 in Port-of-Spain. "Rwanda came to that happy position and we were very pleased to accept Rwanda's application for membership here in Port-of- Spain." Manning also said the 21st meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government would take place in Australia in 2011; Sri Lanka would host CHOGM 2013, and Mauritius in 2015. (RL)