Modi calls for boosting India-Rwanda economic ties

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New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for boosting economic ties between India and Rwanda while describing the East African country as the gateway to the whole of Africa.

“We want to boost economic ties between India and Rwanda,” Modi said while addressing the India-Rwanda Business Forum in Kigali.

“Our nations can do a lot together,” he said. “There are several opportunities in rural development and small scale industries.”

He said that though India is growing exponentially, “our mantra is ‘sabka saath sabka vikas'”.

“We will grow but we will also help those grow, who are with us,” the Prime Minister said. “We will walk together.”

He said that at a time when the world was not even looking at Africa, Indians went to the continent and became a part of its development.

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“When you have come to Rwanda, don’t think that you are confined within its boundaries,” Modi said.

“You will find the gateway to the whole of Africa here.”

Modi reached Rwanda on Monday on the first leg of his five-day, three-nation tour of Africa that will also take him to Uganda and South Africa.

Following delegation-level talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, India and Rwanda signed eight agreements, including in the areas of defence, agriculture and dairy production, trade and leather and allied sectors.

India extended two lines of credit (LoCs) worth $200 million to Rwanda.

Modi also announced that India will open a new High Commission in Rwanda in what can be seen as yet another manifestation of India’s increasing engagements with Africa.

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India’s current High Commissioner to Rwanda has residence in Uganda.

Earlier on Tuesday, Modi visited a village in Rwanda and donated 200 cows for an economic development project of the East African nation.

He also visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial that honours the memory of over one million Tutsis killed by the then Hutu majority government in 1994.

Modi’s visit is the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to Rwanda.

This is also his second visit to mainland Africa after he visited Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya in 2016.

–IANS

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