After concluding his five-day trip to Rwanda and Uganda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in South Africa Thursday to attend the BRICS summit. During his visit to the East African nations, India signed a slew of MoU’s on cooperation in defence, agriculture and green energy sector.
Rwanda visit (July 23-24)
Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Rwanda, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. He also led a large business delegation on his two-day tour to the country. Here are the highlights of his tour to Rwanda:
Gifting 200 cows to the nation
Perhaps the most talked about point in Modi’s visit to Rwanda was his contribution of 200 locally bought cows for ‘Girinka’, the country’s one of a kind social protection scheme. Under the scheme, one cow is provided to each poor family. Rwanda government states that the programme has helped over 3.5 lakh people so far. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday visited Rweru model village in the country to formally hand over the cows. He reiterated his belief in the motto of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ and held that India is proud to have been associated with Rwanda during its years of growth.
Meeting with businesses and Indian community
Modi held delegation-level talks with businesses and the Indian communities on his tour to Rwanda. In his address at the India-Rwanda Business Forum in Kigali Convention Centre on Tuesday, Modi said that Rwanda opens the door to the entire African continent for India. He also said that the fast-growing economy of Rwanda can join hands with India to get exposure to a broader world market. Modi also pointed out the possibilities of cooperation in clean energy and dairy sector.
Extending $200 million lines of credit
India extended USD 200 million line of credit to Rwanda after holding wide-ranging talks with President Paul Kagame. The two countries discussed measures to boost the bilateral strategic ties and signed eight MoU’s on cooperation in the field of defence, trade, agriculture and animal resources.
The first line of credit amounted to USD 100 million for the development of industrial parks and Kigali special economic zone (SEZ) in Rwanda. The second credit of USD 100 million will be directed to build agricultural infrastructure. 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).
Modi also announced the opening of Indian High Commission in Rwanda soon and held that it will ease the consular and passport/visa related processes between the countries.
The Prime Minister arrived in Uganda on July 24 on the second leg of his African tour. He became the first Indian prime minister to visit Uganda in nearly two decades. He addressed the Ugandan Parliament and the Indian diaspora during his visit. Here are the highlights of his tour:
Address to Parliament of Uganda
Modi became the first Indian prime minister to speak in the Ugandan Parliament. He enlisted 10 guiding principles for deepening India’s engagement with Africa to help in its economic growth and tackle challenges like terrorism and climate change.
“We will strengthen our cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism; keeping our cyberspace safe and secure; and, supporting the UN in advancing and keeping peace,” he said at the Parliament.
Modi stated that despite having 60% of the world’s arable land, Africa’s agricultural output accounts for only 10%. Modi said that India will help Uganda achieve growth in agriculture through industrial investment.
Modi said that the two countries will work closely on maritime security in the Indian Ocean.
Address to the Indian diaspora
Addressing the Indian diaspora in Kampala on Wednesday, PM Modi stated that India is fast becoming a manufacturing hub. He said that the steel used in the construction of metros and satellites are manufactured in India and that the biggest mobile manufacturing unit is being set up in Noida.
He lauded the contribution of the Indian community in the growth of Uganda, but also recalled the hardship faced by them in 1970s when some of them were forced to leave the country.
Modi also said that the resource-rich Uganda is top on his government’s priority and that the government plans to set up 18 new embassies across Africa.
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