Prime Minister Narendra Modi will next week visit Rwanda and Uganda before heading to South Africa to attend the 10th addition of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. TS Tirumurti, secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), while speaking to reporters at a media briefing in New Delhi said the Prime Minister will visit the three nations between June 23-27.
Briefing the media about PM’s schedule, Tirumurti said that PM will first stop in Rwanda for a two-day ‘historic’ visit, the first by an Indian premier. He will then head to Uganda on July 24 and from there to South Africa.
The leaders at the summit are expected to deliberate on global hot-spot issues, international peace and security, global governance and trade issues among others, Tirumurti said. On the sidelines of the summit, the prime minister is also expected to meet some leaders bilaterally, he said.
PM Modi will be received by Rwandan President Paul Kagame when he arrives in the country on the first leg of his three-nation tour. On his visit, the leaders will hold delegation-level talks, pay homage at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, interact with a business forum, and also with the Indian community, Tirumurti said. He added a defence cooperation agreement is also expected to be signed between India and Rwanda during the visit. “During this visit, we expect to conclude two lines of credit — one of 100 million for development of industrial parks and Kigali special economic zone (SEZ), and another one for USD 100 million for agriculture and irrigation,” Tirumurti was quoted as saying by PTI.
Tirumurti also said that the prime minister will visit Rweru Model Village, where he will gift 200 cows as a contribution from India to the ‘Girinka’ scheme of Rwanda. Girinka is a social protection scheme of the Rwandan government personally overseen by President Kagame where poorest families are gifted dairy cows by the government and the first female calf born to the cow is gifted to the neighbour, thus promoting brotherhood and solidarity. “We expect agreements to be concluded in the areas of defence, dairy cooperation, leather, agriculture, and culture,” Tirumarti said.
After visiting Rwanda, the prime minister will head to Uganda on July 24 for a two-day visit, the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister since 1997. The prime minister’s programme in Uganda includes a call on President Yoweri Museveni, restricted and delegation level talks, and participation at an India-Uganda joint business event. PM Modi will also address the Ugandan Parliament, the first time an Indian prime minister will do so, Tirumurti said. He added, “We expect to extend two lines of credit for the first time to Uganda — USD 141 million for electricity lines and substations and USD 64 million for agriculture and dairy production.”
After visiting both the nations, the PM will head to South Africa on June 25, where he will be participating in the BRICS Summit. Tirumurti said, “BRICS leaders are expected to discuss global hot-spot issues, international peace and security, global governance, trade issues etc., during the restricted session.”
The countries invited for the BRICS’ Africa outreach segment are Rwanda, Uganda, Togo, Zambia, Namibia, Senegal, Gabon, Ethiopia, Angola and the African Union chair, Tirumurti said. The countries invited for the BRICS outreach with leaders from the global south segment are Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia, Jamaica and Egypt, he said, adding that the UN Secretary-General has also been invited.
Apart from participating in the summit, the prime minister will also have a bilateral meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa. This will be the first visit by the prime minister to South Africa after the new government assumed office there and comes during a year that marks the 125th anniversary of the Pietermaritzburg incident involving Mahatma Gandhi and the 100 birth anniversary of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
(With PTI inputs)