Vice President of India, Mohammed Hamid Ansari was on a five-day visit to Rwanda and Uganda from February 19 to February 23, 2017 to enhance bilateral engagement among the nations.
- Ansari was accompanied by his wife Salma along with Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla and four Members of Parliament including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Kanimozhi, Ranvijay Singh Judev, Ranee Narah and P.K. Biju.
- This was the first high-level bilateral visit to Uganda from India since 1997 and first high-level visit to Rwanda.
- Ansari was in Rwanda from February 19-20 while reached Uganda on February 21.
- During his visit, Vice President Ansari held discussions with leaders in the two east African nations on issues of bilateral interest.
India & Rwanda sign MoUs in innovation, aviation and visa requirements
During the visit, India and Rwanda signed three MoUs on February 21, 2017 in the field of innovation, aviation and visa requirements.
The three MoUs signed includes:
Air service agreement between India and Rwanda with direct flight to Mumbai
- Establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Rwanda duly financed by Government of India for promoting innovation.
- Agreement for exemption of visa requirements for diplomatic and service passports.
- The agreements were signed during a business forum meet in the presence of Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari and Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi.
Ansari Launches India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme
During his 2 day visit to Rwanda, Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari launched the India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme to strengthen ties in Science, Technology and Innovation between the two nations.
- Under the programme, a technology expo would be organized in Rwanda of India’s low cost innovations. After the pilot project in Rwanda, the programme would be expanded to other countries of the East African Community.
- Under the Programme, 20 demonstrated and validated Indian technologies and innovations are expected to be adopted over a period of two years.
VC Ansari Addresses India-Rwanda Business Forum
Vice President Ansari along with the Prime Minister of Rwanda also addressed India-Rwanda Business Forum.
- The India-Rwanda Business Forum was jointly organized by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Rwanda Development Board in Kigali.
- During the forum, the Indian Vice President proposed to offer scholarships and fellowships to Rwandan students to enable them to pursue higher education and training courses in India.
- In Kigali, Ansari also paid tribute to the victims of the 1994 massacre at the Kigali Genocide Museum.
- Capital: Kigali
- President: Paul Kagame
- Currency: Rwandan franc
India & Uganda Agrees to Cooperate in Space, Atomic Energy Sectors
Vice President Ansari was in Uganda from February 21-23, 2017. During the visit India and Uganda approved to expand cooperation in the field of energy sector and training of personnel for space programme and peaceful use of atomic energy.
- Vice President Hamid Ansari also held bilateral talks with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni at the State House on February 22, 2017 and reviewed the bilateral cooperation between the two.
- The two nations also committed to work together in trade, investment, development cooperation, agriculture, IT, defence cooperation domains.
- Uganda President offered Indian companies to manufacture automobiles locally in Uganda to discourage import of cars.
- On the concluding day of the visit to Uganda, Vice President, Ansari paid floral tribute to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Jinja, a town about 80 km from Kampala.
- He also attended a meeting of Indian diaspora in the capital city Kampala on the last day of the visit on February 23, 2017.
- Capital: Kampala
- Currency: Ugandan shilling
- President: Yoweri Museveni