The opening ceremony in the MH1 Hall at the Kigali Convention Centre brought together several dignitaries, including 71 delegates from African and Asian countries, members of government, representatives of international sports federations and various other international organisations. Addressing participants on that occasion, the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Anastase Murekezi, welcomed them to Rwanda and then reasserted the commitment of the Head of State, H.E. Paul Kagame, to promote gender equality in various areas of social life. He then placed the meeting in context, as it was the first time it was holding in Africa. Taking the cue from him, the Minister of Sports and Culture of the Republic of Rwanda, Julienne Uwacu, hailed the tremendous progress made by Rwanda to empower the woman, including in sport.
Other speakers, prominent amongst them the UN Women Regional Director for East/Southern Africa, Izeduwa Derex-Briggs and IOC Member and President of NOC Rwanda, Lydia Nsekera, also lauded progress made by Rwanda in empowering women in sport.
The ceremony thus set the pace for three days of intense deliberations, during which participants mainly discussed gender equality in sport.