Narendra Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to set foot in Rwanda

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KIGALI (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on July 23, arrived in Rwanda on the first leg of his three-nation Africa tour as part of India’s outreach to the resource-rich continent, becoming the first Indian premier to visit the East African country.
The Prime Minister’s aircraft landed at the Kigali International Airport where he was received by President of Rwanda Paul Kagame.
He was accorded a red carpet welcome at the airport.
His two-day state visit to Rwanda — one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies — assumes significance as this is the first by an Indian premier.
Later, Prime Minister Modi held one-on-one talks with President Kagame. He will also meet the business leaders and the Indian communities here.
He will visit the Genocide Memorial and participate in an event on “Girinka” (one cow per family), a national social protection scheme of Rwanda initiated by Kagame.
A defense cooperation agreement is also expected to be signed between India and Rwanda during the visit, T S Tirumurti, secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said in New Delhi last week.
India will also be opening a mission in Rwanda very soon, Tirumurti said.
“During this visit, we expect to conclude two lines of credit — one of USD 100 million for development of industrial parks and Kigali special economic zone (SEZ), and another one for USD 100 million for agriculture and irrigation,” he said.
An important element of the program would be the prime minister’s visit to Rweru Model Village where he will gift 200 cows as a contribution from India to the ‘Girinka’ scheme of Rwanda, Tirumurti said.
Under ‘Girinka’, a social protection scheme of the Rwandan government personally overseen by President Kagame, poorest families are gifted dairy cows by the government and the first female calf born to the cow is gifted to the neighbor, thus promoting brotherhood and solidarity.
The cows to be gifted by India would be sourced from Rwanda.
Modi’s visit comes days after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Rwanda.
Modi would proceed to Uganda on July 24 for a two-day visit, the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister since 1997.

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