India’s Vice President Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari will be in Uganda for a three-day official visit, part of an effort to boost ties on the continent.
“The forthcoming visit of the Vice-President is part of the conscious broadening of India’s diplomatic footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the Great Lakes region,” said Nina Malhotra, joint secretary in Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India’s engagement with Uganda is at three levels including at the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and at the bilateral level.
Following the first India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-I) in 2008, Uganda was nominated by the AU to host the India-Africa Institute of Foreign Trade (IAIFT), one of the five institutes offered by India at the Pan-Africa level. The institute will impart world-class training in International Business and Management, develop entrepreneurial skills and promote research in foreign trade.
At the second India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-II) in 2011, a Food-Processing Business Incubation Centre was offered to be set-up in Uganda.
In addition, a tele-medical centre has been set up in Mulago Hospital where several diagnostic equipment, such as ECG, X-Ray and ultrasound have also been set up as part of the project. The centre is connected to 11 reputed Indian hospitals to ensure world-class medical consultation and treatment for patients and medical education for students. A tele-education centre has been set up at Makerere University.
Received credentials of India’s new High Commissioner to Uganda, H.E. Ravi Shankar. I welcome him to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. pic.twitter.com/POkRwI7rWy
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) February 14, 2017
According to the statement, these initiatives will help Ugandans access medical care and education from India at a fraction of cost. These centres were inaugurated in August, 2010 by Foreign Ministers of both the countries.
According to the MEA statement, Ansari will arrive on February 21, 2017 for the first high-level bilateral visit from India to Uganda since 1997. He will this weekend be in Rwanda.
“During the visit, the Vice-President would be meeting the Vice President of Uganda and the President of Uganda. The Vice-President (Ansari) would also interact with the Indian community in Kampala,” said Vikas Swarup, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson of India.
President Museveni has visited India twice on State visits and also visited New Delhi on a private visit in September, 2011. The Vice President Edward Ssekandi also visited India to attend the 9th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave in New Delhi in 2013.