The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Damodarda
“India is proud to be Africa’s partner and Uganda is centre of all these,” he said.
The Prime Minister India who was extremely delighted to be in the country revealed 2 lines of credit to Uganda; one of US$141 million for electricity lines and another of US$64 million for agriculture and dairy production. He added that India will continue to support the health sector, capacity building in government, training in defence and supporting the aspirations of the people of Uganda. He further told the legislators that because of the strong historical ties between the two countries, India is going to build a Mahtma Gandhi Heritage Centre at the sacred site in Jinja where the statue of Gandhi stands at the Source of the Nile, the spot where the cremated ashes of the late Mahatma Gandhi were immersed in the river. The Centre will be in commemoration of the 150th birthday anniversary of Gandhi to be celebrated soon.
Mahatma Ghandi is remembered for his contribution in the struggle against colonialism both in India and Africa.
“There is no better homage than a centre to remind us of Africa’s role in shaping his mission that inspired Africa to freedom and justice, a universal timeless message,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi told the August House of India’s 10 principles that will guide his country in partnering with Africa, that include among others, intensifying and deepening the relationship between his country and the African continent,
“Our partnership will be guided by your priorities, relying on African talents and skills building much of the local opportunities and capacities,” he said.
Other principles include keeping India’s market open, harnessing India’s experience with digital revolution to support African development as well as improving delivery of public services and extend education and health services. He added that India will work with Uganda in particular and Africa in general to improve agriculture as well as strengthening cooperation in combating terrorism.
Prime Minister Modi stressed that Africa will be among the priorities of India pledging to stand in solidarity with the continent in the principle of equality. He further noted that this is the century for the current governments of India and Africa to work together to shape the future of the youth who are the majority in the two continents.
The NRM National Chairman Yoweri Museveni, on behalf of the people of Uganda, thanked Prime Minister Modi for his visit and pointed out that at the time of independence, Africa, including Uganda, faced many challenges that have been identified and are being rectified. He expressed his gratitude to note that as those bottlenecks are being resolved, the long night of Africa’s subjugation and marginalization is over.
“The good thing is that we now know these bottlenecks. Our friends in the world should know that the long night of subjugation and marginalization is over,” he said.
The President cited the signing recently of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) accord in Kigali, Rwanda and that of Abuja in Nigeria where Africa unanimously agreed to act as one in terms of the market. He added that with economic integration, Africa will be one of the power-houses of the world economy.
Mr. Museveni said some African countries are aiming at the political integration to form capable units that can guarantee the future of the African peoples. He assured the Prime Minister Modi that India and other world countries have reliable partners in Africa, the continent that is rising.
The Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, who received Prime Minister Modi at Parliament together with President Museveni Host and the 1st Lady Janet Museveni, informed the guests on the composition of the August House.
She told them of the dark period when during the Amin regime many Indians were expelled from the country adding that it was the NRM Government that reversed the ordeal and recalled the Indian community to re-possess their property. She said the Indian community is now actively participating in the economic activities of Uganda citing giants like Madhvani and Metha, among many others.
Later, Premier Modi concluded his state visit to Uganda and was seen off at Entebbe International Airport by President Museveni. Others at the Airport to bid him farewell included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sam Kuteesa, the Head of Public Service, Mr. John Mitala, the Chief of the Defence Forces, Gen. David Muhoozi, the Inspector General of Police Mr. Martin Okoth Ochola and the Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija.