India extended USD 200 million lines of credit to Rwanda as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Paul Kagame and discussed measures to boost the bilateral strategic ties by strengthening cooperation in defence, trade and agriculture sectors.
After the one-on-one talks with president Kagame, Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit the East African country, announced that India will soon open its mission in Rwanda. “We are going to open a High Commission in Rwanda. This will not only establish communication between our respective governments but also enable facilities for consular, passport, visa,” Modi said at a joint press statement. He noted that India and Rwanda relationships have stood the test of time.
“It is a matter of honour for us that India has stood with Rwanda in their economic development journey,” Modi said, adding that India will continue to back Rwanda’s development. Besides one-to-one meeting, the two leaders also participated in delegation level talks to strengthen partnership in trade and investment, capacity building, development partnership and people to people ties.
The two countries signed agreements on cooperation in the field of defence, trade, agriculture and animal resources. They agreed on cooperation in defence capacity building, industry, science and technology. India extended two lines of credit — one of USD 100 million for development of industrial parks and Kigali special economic zone (SEZ) in Rwanda and another one for USD 100 million for agriculture. The two sides signed MoUs on collaboration in the areas of leather and allied sectors, dairy cooperation, agricultural research and education collaborations between Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
The two countries agreed to facilitate, diversify and promote trade and economic cooperation. President Kagame in his remarks said that Prime Minister Modi’s visit represents a milestone between the long standing friendship and cooperation between Rwanda and India.
Modi arrived in Rwanda tonight on the first leg of his three-nation Africa tour as part of India’s outreach to the resource-rich continent, soon after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Kigali. The prime minister’s aircraft landed at the Kigali International Airport where he was received by President Kagame. He was accorded a red carpet welcome at the airport. “A historic visit starts with a special gesture. President @PaulKagame personally welcomed PM @narendramodi to Rwanda,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted. His two-day state visit to Rwanda — one of Africa’s fastest growing economies — assumes significance as it could boost India’s strategic ties with this country.
“A special gesture by a close friend and a strategic partner! Prime Minister @narenderamodi personally received by Rwandan President @PaulKagame at #Kigali International Airport on the first leg of his three-nation tour. First-ever visit by an Indian PM to Rwanda,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had tweeted.
Modi will also meet the business leaders and the Indian communities here. Prime Minister Modi will next visit the Genocide Memorial and participate in an event on “Girinka” (one cow per family), a national social protection scheme of Rwanda initiated by Kagame.