At the invitation of His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi undertook a State Visit to Uganda from 24 – 25 July 2018. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation of senior officials of the Government of India and a large business delegation. This was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 21 years.
Prime Minister Modi was accorded a high-level ceremonial welcome on arrival. During the visit, he held bilateral discussions with President Museveni at State House, Entebbe on Wednesday 24thJuly 2018. President Museveni hosted a state banquet in the honour of the visiting Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Modi’s program included an address to the Ugandan Parliament, which was telecast live in India and many African countries. This was the first time that an Indian Prime Minister had addressed the Ugandan Parliament. A business event jointly organised by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) was addressed by both the Principals. Prime Minister Modi also addressed a large gathering of Indian Community in Uganda at a special event organized for this purpose.
During the discussions, Prime Minister Modi and President Museveni underlined the traditionally warm and close ties between Uganda and India. Both sides agreed that bilateral relations have tremendous potential and reaffirmed the mutual desire to strengthen political, economic, commercial, defence, technical, educational, scientific and cultural cooperation. President Museveni praised the contribution of the 30,000-strong Indian Diaspora towards Uganda’s national development and economic growth. India appreciated the significant role played by Uganda for economic integration and maintenance of peace and stability in the Region.
Following the talks, the Indian and Ugandan side:
Reaffirmed the commitment to reinforce and build upon the successes and achievements of existing bilateral cooperation,
- Underscored the importance of trade and economic ties between the two countries. The two leaders noted the current level of bilateral trade and expressed the desire to enhance and diversify the trade basket including addressing the trade imbalance and to facilitate trade between the two countries.
- Emphasizedthe need for enhanced private sector investment in a wide range of importantsectors, underlining there was great potential for enhancement and expansion of mutual trade relations,
- Noted with appreciation utilisationof the training and scholarship slots by Ugandans under India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS), India Council for Cultural Relations (CCR) etc,
- Expressed satisfaction at the growing cooperation between India and Uganda in defence matters, in particular the training of Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) in various Indian Army training institutions under the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation as well as the deployment of Indian Military Training Team in Uganda’s Senior Command and Staff College (SCSC) in Kimaka,
- Agreed to support collaboration between India and Uganda in the area of Information and Communication Technology. Uganda expressed its desire to replicate some of India’s schemes for Digital Inclusion while implementing its Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) project.
Both leaders agreed that the terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability and reiterated their strong commitment to combat it in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed that there could be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever.
The leaders asserted that strong measures should be taken against terrorists, terror organisations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups. They also underscored the need to ensure that terrorist organizations do not get access to any WMD or technologies and committed to cooperate for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
The leaders agreed on the need to closely engage with regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern.
The two leaders reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion, to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the geopolitical realities of the 21st century. They reiterated their commitment to intensify their cooperation in the United Nations and other multilateral organisations in order to address current global challenges such as climate change and to foster international and regional peace and security, as well as sustainable development.
The leaders emphasized the need for regular convening of bilateral mechanisms, including at Foreign/External Affairs Ministers level, to review the overall state of bilateral relations, and for the expeditious implementation of the economic and development cooperation projects.
The following MoUs / Documents were signed during the visit:
- MoU on Defence Cooperation.
- MoU on Visa exemption for Diplomatic and official passport holders.
- MoU on Cultural Exchange Programme
- MoU on Material Testing Laboratory
- The two leaders welcomed the conclusion of the MOUs and directed concerned individuals to ensure that implementation of existing agreements, Memoranda of Understanding and other frameworks of cooperation, is fast-tracked.
During the Visit, Prime Minister Modi made the following announcements:
- Two Lines of Credits for1. Construction of electricity lines and Substations worth US$141 million and 2. Agriculture and Dairy production US $ 64 million.
- Contribution to establishment of Mahatma Gandhi Convention/ Heritage Centre at Jinja
- Financial support of US $929,705 for capacity building and creating a supportive infrastructure for East African Community (EAC) which is currently chaired by Uganda.
- 25 slots for training under the ITEC scheme in the field of dairy cooperation in order to strengthen cooperation in the Dairy sector,
- Gifting of 88 vehicles, 44 each for the Ugandan Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and for the civil use by the Ugandan Government.
- Gifting of Bhabhatron Cancer Therapy machine to assist Uganda’s efforts towards eradicating the malaise of cancer.
- Gifting of 100,000 NCERT books for school going children of Uganda.
- Gifting 100 solar power irrigation pumps to Uganda for helping Uganda’s efforts in the development of agriculture
The announcements by the Shri Prime Minister Modi were welcomed by H.E President Yoweri Museveni, who affirmed that they would go a long way in further cementing and deepening the excellent bilateral relations.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi thanked President Mr.Yoweri Museveni for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation during their stay in Uganda and extended an invitation to visit India. President Museveni gladly accepted the invitation. The dates will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.