Vice President Hamid Ansari today left for home after concluding his five-day visit of Rwanda and Uganda during which India signed three major bilateral agreements in Kigali and decided to boost cooperation with the two East African countries. The Vice President left the Ugandan capital tonight at the end of his three-day visit of the country. Ansari held bilateral talks with the top leadership here, including President Yoweri Museveni, Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.
India and Uganda have decided to expand cooperation in the field of energy sector and training of personnel for space programme and peaceful use of atomic energy, even as the resource-rich East African country pitched for Indian companies to manufacture automobiles locally to discourage import of cars.
On the last day of his Uganda leg of the two-nation visit, the Vice President also paid floral tribute to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Jinja, a town about 80 km from here, which is also the source of River Nile.
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Ansari had arrived in Kampala on February 21, after winding up his three-day Rwanda visit during which he held bilateral talks with President Paul Kagame, President of the Senate Bernard Makuza and attended India-Rwanda Business Forum.
At the forum, India and Rwanda signed three MoUs to boost bilateral cooperation in areas of innovation, aviation and visa regime, which includes setting up of an entrepreneurship development centre in that country and starting of a direct flight to Mumbai.
In Kigali, Ansari also paid tribute to the victims of the 1994 massacre at the Kigali Genocide Museum and hailed the “resilience and courage” demonstrated by Rwandans in putting behind the hatred and moving ahead on the path of “reconciliation and inclusion”.
This was the first high-level bilateral visit to Uganda from India since 1997 and first high-level visit to Rwanda. The Vice President along with wife Salma was traveling with Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, four MPs — Kanimozhi, Ranvijay Singh Judev, Ranee Narah and P K Biju, and senior officials. The Vice President had said that this visit was part of a “conscious effort” by the Indian government to “intensify interactions” with Africa.