“Our people are among many threads that connect Uganda and India together. The story of India’s own freedom struggle is intimately linked to Africa. It is not just the 21 years that Gandhiji spent in Africa, or the First Non- Cooperation Movement he led. For India, the moral principles of independence movement, were not just confined to the boundaries of India. It was a universal quest for liberty, dignity, equality and opportunity for every human being. Nowhere did it apply more than in Africa,” PM Modi said in his address to the Ugandan Parliament.
The PM said that India pursued Afro-Asian solidarity in Bandung and stood firm in opposition to apartheid in South Africa. “We took leading and bold positions in former Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe, in Guinea Bassau, Angola and Namibia. India’s principled support to Africa’s liberation movements often came at cost to our nation’s trade. This mattered nothing in comparison to Africa’s freedom,” he added.
“Our international partnerships over the past 7 decades have been prompted as much by economic impulse as by moral principles and emotional bonds We sought a fair & equitable access to markets and resources. We fought together to make development the foundation of global trade.
“Today, India and Africa stand on the threshold of a future of great promise: As confident, secure, youthful, innovative, and dynamic people,” PM Modi said.
He further added, “India is proud to be Africa’s partner. Uganda is central to our commitment to the continent. I announced yesterday 2 Lines of Credit for Uganda. The first, of US $ 141 million for electricity lines. And the second, of US $ 64 million for agriculture and dairy production.”
Prime Minister Modi then said, “We were honoured to host all 54 countries at the third Africa-India Forum Summit in October 2015. We were also privileged to host many African leaders for the inaugural summit of the International Solar Alliance.”
“As we work together for prosperity, we have stood together for peace. Indian soldiers have served in blue helmets so that Africa’s children can look to a future of peace. We are proud of the work of Indian peacekeepers in over a dozen UN peacekeeping missions in Africa,” the PM said.
Earlier on Tuesday, getting straight down to business, Prime Minister Modi held a one on one meeting with President of Uganda. Delegation-level talks between the two leaders followed. PM Modi announced two Lines of Credit worth nearly $200 mn.
PM Modi thanked President Museveni for his long association with India and for taking special care of people of Indian origin in Uganda. PM also recalled the various interactions he had with the Ugandan President with warmth.
India and Uganda exchanged 3 MoUs covering the defence sector, cultural exchanges and diplomatic passport holders.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will continue to assist Uganda in its growth journey in every possible field. He also announced a gift of a state of the art Cancer therapy machine to the Uganda Cancer Institute.
President Museveni praised Prime Minister Modi for his administrative accumen and said that he is an example for all to follow.
Later, PM Modi addressed the Indian community in Kampala.