India and Rwanda signed eight agreements last night following delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali.
The two countries signed agreements in the fields of Defence, Trade, Agriculture, Leather and allied products and Dairy. India also extended two Lines of Credit of 100 million US dollars each – one for development of industrial parks and Kigali Special Economic Zone, and the other for three agricultural projects in Rwanda.
Mr Modi and Mr Kagame held wide-ranging talks and discussed measures to boost the bilateral strategic ties. Addressing a joint press conference, Mr Modi said, India will soon open a High Commission in Rwanda which will not only establish communication between the governments of the two countries but also enable facilities for consular, passport and visa.
The Prime Minister said, it is a matter of honour for India as it stood with Rwanda in their economic development journey, adding that New Delhi will continue to back the African nation’s development.
In his remarks, Mr Kagame said, Mr Modi’s visit represents a milestone between the long-standing friendship and co-operation between Rwanda and India.
Later, Mr Modi interacted with the Indian community.
Addressing the gathering, he said, the Indian diaspora is making a mark all over the world and they are the country’s Ambassadors. He said, he is happy to note that the Indian community is contributing towards the progress of Rwanda and is doing a lot of community service.
Earlier, Mr Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Rwanda when he landed in Kigali on the first leg of his three-nation tour to Africa. The Rwandan President personally received Mr Modi at the airport.
Today, the Prime Minister will visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial which is the final resting place of more than 2 lakh 50,000 victims of Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda.
Mr Modi will also visit the Rweru Model Village where Mr Modi will donate 200 cows under the Girinka programme, a scheme initiated by President Kagame in response to the high rate of child malnutrition and as a means of accelerating poverty reduction, and integrate livestock and crop farming.
Mr Modi will also take part in the India-Rwanda Business Forum.
The Prime Minister’s visit to Rwanda is historic as Rwanda is an important gateway to Eastern Africa. India had elevated its bilateral relations with Rwanda to the level of a strategic partnership in January last year. The Rwandan President is the current Chair of the African Union.
From Rwanda, Mr Modi will visit Uganda, before heading to Johannesburg in South Africa to attend the 10th BRICS Summit.