India has extended lines of credit (LoCs) worth $200 million to Rwanda as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the first Indian diplomatic mission will be opened in the East African nation. India and Rwanda signed an agreement of $100 million for development of industrial parks and expansion of Special Economic Zones, and a similar amount for an agriculture irrigation scheme in that African nation, following delegation-level talks between Modi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Monday in Kigali.
Stating that India and Rwanda were looking forward to further elevate their ties, Modi, while addressing the media with Kagame, said: “Today, we signed agreements for $200 million for lines of credit and in the area of training.” Modi reached Kigali on Monday evening in the first leg of his three-nation tour of Africa that will also take him to Uganda and South Africa.
This is the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India 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. “This will not only facilitate close communication among our governments, it will also help in consular, passport, visa and other facilities,” he said.
India’s current High Commissioner to Rwanda has residence in Uganda. In his address, Modi appreciated the steps for peace that have been adopted in Rwanda following the mass genocide in that country in 1994. Around 500,000 to one million people were killed in the mass genocide against the Tutsi people by the majority Hutu government of that time.
“For us, it is a matter pride that India is a trusted development partner of Rwanda,” Modi said. “We have been helping Rwanda in capacity building, infrastructure development and ICT,” he said. Following Monday’s bilateral talks, the two sides signed eight agreements, including in the areas of defence, agriculture and dairy production, trade and leather and allied sectors.
On his part, Kagame, in his address to the media, said that both sides discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues. He also thanked India for its development aid cooperation with Rwanda. This is Modi’s second visit to mainland Africa after he visited Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya in 2016.
Over the last few years, there has been significant engagement in various fields with African countries. There have been 23 outgoing visits to Africa by the President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years.