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The Commonwealth admits Gabon and Togo as its 55th and 56th members respectively

International News

The Commonwealth admits Gabon and Togo as its 55th and 56th members respectively

The leaders of the Commonwealth countries have accepted applications by the two west African countries of Gabon and Togo. Both countries are former French colonies were welcomed at the closing session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday.

The development follows formal expressions of interest by Gabon and Togo and consultation with member countries.

Rwanda was the last country to join the Commonwealth, in 2009.

Welcoming the announcement, Commonwealth Secretary-General the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, QC, said that the Commonwealth, which began as eight nations in 1949, is growing to 56.

“Our continued growth, beyond the scope of our history, reflects the advantages of Commonwealth membership and the strength of our association. I am thrilled to see these vibrant countries join the Commonwealth family and dedicate themselves to the values and aspirations of our Charter.”

Gabon is a sparsely populated country of two million people, bordering Cameroon – a member of the Commonwealth – Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Congo.

Togo is bordered by Ghana, a Commonwealth member and Benin and Burkina Faso. It has a population of approximately 7.8 million people.

Neither country has a historical association with the Commonwealth, with both gaining independence from France in the 1960s.

The eligibility criteria for Commonwealth membership, amongst other things, state that an applicant country should demonstrate commitment to democracy and democratic processes, including free and fair elections and representative legislatures; the rule of law and independence of the judiciary; good governance, including a well-trained public service and transparent public accounts; and protection of human rights, freedom of expression, and equality of opportunity.

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a seasoned multimedia Award Winning journalist with 11 years of experience in broadcast and writing. She is recognized for her expertise in the field and holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute, which has equipped her with a strong foundation in business principles. Sarah's commitment to professional development is evident through her continuous pursuit of knowledge and skills. She has obtained a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News, an esteemed organization dedicated to empowering women in the media industry. In 2020, she successfully completed a Course in Wikimedia, demonstrating her proficiency as one of the few Wikipedia Editors in the country. To further enhance her reporting capabilities, Sarah has also acquired a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). This specialized training has equipped her with a deeper understanding of gender-related issues and their portrayal in the media. Throughout her career, Sarah has contributed her talent to various media houses, including six radio stations, where she has showcased her versatility and adaptability. Her most recent engagements include Galaxy FM 100.2 and Radio 4. Additionally, she has served as a writer for Andariya Magazine, further demonstrating her ability to excel in different mediums. Sarah's expertise extends beyond journalism. She has worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the revitalized Uganda Airlines, leveraging her skills to effectively communicate the airline's message in the digital sphere. Her passion for digital media and technology makes her a valuable asset in the evolving landscape of communication. In her entrepreneurial pursuits, Sarah is the proud owner of TheUgPost, a renowned media organization with a strong presence in Uganda and a global reach. Through this platform, she continues to make a significant impact by providing reliable and engaging content to a wide audience. Sarah won the Top Environmental Journalist Award 2023 from Uganda Biodiversity Fund. Twitter; https://twitter.com/BiryomumaishoB

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