Prime Minister Modi arrived in Rwanda on July 23 accompanied by a high-level delegation including senior officials. A large Indian business delegation was also present there for the visit. This was the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Rwanda.
President Paul Kagame hosted a state banquet for the Prime Minister after the bilateral discussions in Kigali. Prime Minister Modi interacted with the Indian community and addressed a business forum jointly organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) and Rwanda Development Board (RDB). He also visited Kigali Genocide Memorial and paid tributes to the victims of 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
On 24 July 2018, Prime Minister Modi participated in an event in Rweru model village outside Kigali under "Girinka programme", a social protection scheme of one cow-one family and gifted 200 cows as a contribution from India to the Scheme.
During the talks, the two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation and expressed satisfaction at the excellent relations between Rwanda and India in the overall context of Strategic Partnership. Both sides reiterated their commitment to increase bilateral trade and investment, agreed to encourage greater people to people exchange, strengthen cooperation in the area of UN Peacekeeping as two large contributors of UNPKF in Africa; consider exploring cooperation in the energy sector; enhance cooperation in the health and education sectors and share experience and expertise in promotion of tourism. Prime Minister Modi also announced, setting up of a Task Force in the field of digital education including the provision of an e-library.
The two leaders witnessed the inking of 8 MoUs/Agreements covering various sectors such as - defence, dairy, trade, agriculture including LoC agreements of US$ 100 million for development of Industrial Parks and expansion of Kigali SEZ and LoC agreements of US $ 100 million for financing components of its Agriculture Project Schemes.
Prime Minister Modi received an enthusiastic reception at the Indian Community event in Rwanda.
“President Kagame said to me that the Indian community is contributing to Rwanda’s progress and they are also doing lot of community service. I was happy to hear this”
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
“For years the Indian community in Rwanda wanted a High Commission. This long pending demand will now be fulfilled”
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Modi visited and paid homage at the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali, Rwanda. The Memorial honours the victims of the worst excesses of violence and is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It honours the memory of the more than one million Rwandans killed in 1994 through education and peace-building.
It is also symbolic of the admirable and exemplary process of reconciliation Rwanda has embarked upon.
Prime Minster Modi donated 200 cows under 'Girinka' - One Cow per Poor Family Programme at Rweru village. Girinka is an ambitious projects that provides both nutritional & financial security to the poor.
The word Girinka can be translated as ‘may you have a cow’ and describes a centuries-old cultural practice in Rwanda whereby a cow was given by one person to another, as a sign of respect and gratitude.
Girinka was initiated by President Paul Kagame in response to the alarmingly high rate of childhood malnutrition and as a way to accelerate poverty reduction and integrate livestock and crop farming. The program is based on the premise that providing a dairy cow to poor Girinka Programme transforms livelihoods, reconciles communities improving agricultural productivity through the use of manure as fertilizers which would lead to improving soil quality and reducing erosion through the planting of grasses and trees. Since its introduction in 2006 hundreds of thousands have received cows through the Girinka program. By June 2016, a total of 248,566 cows had been distributed to poor households.
Prime Minister Modi and President Kagame addressed leading CEOs from both the countries at India-Rwanda Business Forum. The Prime Minister reaffirmed India’s commitment to Rwanda’s quest for national development, Prime Minster Modi said, "We want to boost economic ties between India and Rwanda. Our nations can do a lot together. There are several opportunities in rural development and small scale industries."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Uganda on 24-25 July 2018. This was the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the African nation in 20 years. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Prime Minister Modi comprehensively reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations and witnessed inking of four MoUs in the areas of Defence Cooperation, Visa Exemption for Official and Diplomatic Passport Holders, Cultural Exchange Programme and Material Testing Laboratory. President Museveni hosted a state banquet in honour of Prime Minister Modi, who also addressed the Ugandan Parliament. This was the first time that an Indian Prime Minister addressed the Ugandan Parliament. The two leaders took part in a business event organised by the Private Sector Foundation of Ugnda (PSFU) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). Prime Minister Modi also addressed a large gathering of Indian community in Uganda at a special event.
During his visit to Uganda, Prime Minister Modi announced two lines of credits for construction of electricity lines and sub-stations worth $ 141 million and Agriculture and Dairy production worth $ 64 million for Uganda.
He also announced contribution to establishment of Mahatma Gandhi Convention Heritage centre at Jinja and financial support of $929,705 for capacity building and creating supportive infrastructure for East African Community (EAC) currently chaired by Uganda.
The Prime Minister announced gifting of Bhabatron Cancer Therapy machine to assist Uganda's efforts towards eradicating the malaise of cancer and 100,000 NCERT books for school children. Prime Minister Modi also gifted 100 solar power irrigation pumps for helping Uganda's efforts in the development of agriculture.
The two sides also signed MoUs on defence cooperation, visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, cultural exchange programme and material testing laboratory.
Prime Minister Modi addressed the Indian Community in in Kampala . The event was also attended by President Museveni.
Addressing the gathering he said he felt a sense of belonging with the Indian Community in Uganda and that the presence of President Museveni at the event shows his love for the people of India, and the Indian Community in Uganda.
He complimented the Indian Community for retaining its sense of Indian-ness, as reflected in the cultural performances on this occasion.
Asserting that all countries of Africa, including Uganda, are important for India, he said that a shared history of struggle against colonialism, a large Indian diaspora, and common development challenges, are all reasons for this.
Prime Minister Modi and President Museveni addressed India-Uganda Business Forum, which was jointly organised by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The event was attended by prominent business leaders from both the countries representing health & Pharma, Agriculture & Dairy, ICT & Energy, infrastructure, banking and service sectors.
“India's own quest for reforms in the global institutions is incomplete without an equal place for Africa. That will be a key purpose of our foreign policy”
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Modi’s address to Ugandan Parliament constituted to be an important feature of the visit. It was the first ever address by an Indian Prime Minister to Ugandan Parliament. The address which was telecast live in India and other African countries, saw him outline India’s engagement and approach to Africa.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Johannesburg to attend the 10th BRICS Summit. Apart from participating in the BRICS Summit, the Prime Minister had a bilateral meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa. This was the first visit by the Prime Minister to South Africa after new administration led by President Ramaphosa assumed office in February 2018.
The year 2018 commemorates 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and South Africa and also marks the 125th anniversary of the Pietermaritzburg incident of Mahatma Gandhi and birth centenary of Nelson Mandela.
The 10th BRICS Summit, as a milestone in the history of BRICS, was held under the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”. The Heads of State and Government of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, expressed satisfaction regarding the achievements of BRICS over the last ten years as a strong demonstration of BRICS cooperation toward the attainment of peace, harmony and shared development and prosperity, and deliberated on ways to consolidate them further. They reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality, democracy, inclusiveness and strengthened collaboration and pledged to enhancing our strategic partnership for the benefit of our people through the promotion of peace, a fairer international order, sustainable development and inclusive growth, and to strengthening the three-pillar-driven cooperation in the areas of economy, peace and security and people-to-people exchanges.
During the BRICS Summit, three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between India and South Africa on Agriculture Research, Setting up of Gandhi Mandela Centre for Specialization for Artisan Skills in South Africa and Space Cooperation.
South Africa organised 10th BRICS Leaders’ Summit from 25-27 July 2018, under the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration with Developing Countries for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”
India attaches great importance to its engagement with BRICS, which has emerged as a valuable forum for consultation, coordination and cooperation on contemporary global issues of mutual interest and has helped promote mutual understanding.
During India’s BRICS Chairmanship in 2016, India introduced the idea of People Centrality and Round The Year Engagement in BRICS and had, besides the meetings at political level, introduced people to people engagement in BRICS by organising BRICS games, youth summit, films festival, traditional medicines, disaster management, women Parliamentarians’ meeting, and many such events .These these ideas have been taken forward by successive BRICS Chairs.
The issues before the 10th BRICS Summit broadly included - BRICS in Africa, particularly inclusive growth; Fourth Industrial Revolution; Multilateralism, Global Governance;Health and vaccines; Socio-economic empowerment of women; Peacekeeping; Network of Science Parks & Technology;Inclusive growth; Sustainable development; Infrastructure Youth, and Cooperation/ Coordination at multilateral fora.Click to Read-10th BRICS Summit Johannesburg Declaration
The outreach segment saw various African Countries being invited under the theme "BRICS in Africa”. This gave India the opportunity to share its development experience with its African partners.
Chairs of multilateral groupings such as Argentina (G20 Chair & MERCOSUR member), Indonesia (Co-Chair, New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership & an ASEAN member), Egypt (G77 Chair), Jamaica (CARICOM Chair), Turkey (OIC Chair); and the UN Secretary-General were invited to interact with BRICS countries, on inclusive growth and the prosperity of global south as a part of the initiative.
In South Africa, Prime Minister Modi had a bilateral meeting with the South African President and attended the BRICS Summit and other Summit related meetings.
India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Africa which are cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. The visit saw three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) being signed between India and South Africa on Agriculture Research, Setting up of Gandhi Mandela Centre for Specialization for Artisan Skills in South Africa and Space Cooperation.
Over the last few years, there has been a significant intensification of India’s engagement in various fields with African countries and there have been as many as 23 outgoing visits to Africa at the level of President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years.
Africa has been the top priority of India’s Foreign Policy. The visit of Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa aimed to further strengthen India’s relations with the African continent.