Togo and Gabon were admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations, bringing the number of countries in the bloc to 56. The two African countries were never British colonies. Rwanda became a member of the group in 2009.
While the Commonwealth is an association of former British colonies, Rwanda, like Mozambique, which joined in 1995, also was never colonized by the British. Heavily forested Gabon, on the west coast of central Africa, is set to play an important role in the trade in carbon credits to combat climate change.
Scotland, who was re-elected to finish her second term during the meetings, defended the inclusion of Gabon and Togo in the Commonwealth despite the fact that each country has essentially been governed by a single family since the 1960s.
On the sidelines of the event, BioNTech broke ground on Africa’s first mRNA manufacturing facility in Kigali. Two BioNTainers will be delivered by year end, enabling the site to manufacture a range of mRNA-based vaccines, targeted to the needs of the African Union member states.
A side meeting on malaria and tropical diseases raised $4 billion in pledged funding in part to support a World Health Organization goal of eradicating or controlling these illnesses, which kill hundreds of thousands each year. Leaves one wondering whether there is commonality within the so called commonwealth itself?