Rwanda, India sign three bilateral agreements as Indian Vice President visits the country
Kigali, 20 February 2017 – Indian Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari is on a three-day visit to Rwanda from 19-21 February 2017.
On the second day of his visit, the Vice President – who is accompanied by the State Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, lawmakers and officials from the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – met with President Paul Kagame. The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
“Your presence here strengthens our relationship. I look forward to what we will do together,” President Kagame told Vice President Hamid Ansari.
Speaking about the visit, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Claude Nikobisanzwe said that the two leaders recommitted to enhancing the existing bilateral ties.
“Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari commended President Kagame for Rwanda’s remarkable turnaround in the last two decades, and congratulated him upon leading the country towards sustainable development,” PS Nikobisanzwe said.
The Indian Vice President also witnessed the signing of three agreements between Rwanda-India:
- A Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre
- An agreement on the exemption of visa requirements for diplomatic and service passports holders
- A bilateral air service agreement
Prior to meeting President Kagame, Vice President Hamid Ansari who arrived in Rwanda on Sunday paid respect to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at the Kigali Memorial Centre, Gisozi.
On the first day of his visit, the Indian Vice President held a meeting with the Indian Community in Rwanda. On the last day of his visit, he will hold an interaction with students at the University of Rwanda.
Rwanda and India established diplomatic relations in 1999. A non-resident High Commissioners who resides in Kampala, Uganda represents India to Rwanda. However, following President Kagame’s visit to Gujarat in January 2017, India expressed its interests in opening a resident mission in Kigali to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
During the same summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India announced the donation of US$ 2 Million worth of medicine to Rwanda, a cash grant of US$ 1 Million towards the purchase of medical equipment from India as well as a concessional line of credit to fund Huye – Kibeho Road project estimated at US$ 81 Million.
Over the last six years, the Rwanda Development Board has registered a total of 66 investment projects from India valued at US$ 317.5 Million. Key investments include Airtel, Acacia property developers (Zinc hotel), and Mahatma Ghandhi University. Other investments include: Gisovu Tea Company, Imana Steel, Sahasra Electronics Pvt Ltd.