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International Relations

PM Modi Visits Uganda

  • 25 Jul 2018
  • 4 min read

As part of the three-nation African tour, PM Modi is on a two-day visit to Uganda. It is the first bilateral tour by an Indian Prime Minister since 1997. Also, it will be the first time an Indian Prime Minister will address the Ugandan Parliament.

Key Highlights of PM’s Visit to Uganda

  • India has announced two lines of credit worth nearly $200 million in energy infrastructure, agriculture and dairy sectors.
  • India and Uganda signed four MoUs in the areas of defence cooperation, visa exemption for official and diplomatic passport holders, cultural exchange programme and material testing laboratory.
  • India will assist Uganda in training, capacity building, infrastructure development, IT and development initiatives.
  • As Uganda seeks assistance from India to improve healthcare facilities, India will provide a cancer therapy machine to the cancer institute in Kampala (capital of Uganda).
  • India unveiled a bust of India's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Indian community event they addressed in Kampala.

Importance of Uganda

  • The visit marks the 25th high-level bilateral visit from India to Africa in just four years—underlining a significant build-up in India’s ties with the continent.
  • India’s engagement with Uganda is at three levels viz. at the African Union (AU) level, at the level of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and at the bilateral level.
  • India is looking to expand markets and promote Indian trade and investment in Eastern Africa for the mutual growth of India-Eastern Africa economies.
  • Indian exports to Uganda narrowed to $736 million at present from $1.2 billion in 2015, while Ugandan shipments to the subcontinent increased to $44 million from $24 million during the same period.
  • Uganda is currently chair of the East African community and the country has rich potential in resource base including its oil and gas sector, its agriculture, its minerals including rare earth minerals as well as renewable energy.
  • Besides resources and markets, India also needs to closely watch China’s progress in building up constituencies around the world, including Africa. Support from such constituencies helps strengthen its international position and in the process, Chinese ambitions for global leadership gets a boost.

India-Uganda Relations

  • India established its diplomatic presence in 1965, even though the countries relationship dates back to the era when traders ferried goods in dhows across the Indian Ocean which eventually led to a number of Indians to settle in East Africa, and many made Uganda their home.
  • India’s freedom struggle inspired early Ugandan activists to fight colonialism and the country achieved freedom in 1962.
  • In the 1970s under the dictatorship of Idi Amin, nearly 60000 Indians and PIOs were expelled from Uganda. However, this policy was reversed in the 80s and currently, there are over 30000 Indians/PIOs in the country.
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