India and Rwanda are noticeably servicing their friendship and cementing economic and geopolitical interests as evidenced by jovial visits by each country’s high profile leaders.
Following President Kagame’s visit to India early January to attend the Eighth Vibrant Gujarat Summit, India’s Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari is in Rwanda to return the courtesy.
Shri Hamid Ansari, who was in Rwanda for a 3-days visit, met with President Kagame and discussed investment opportunities and deepening bilateral ties and signing trade agreements.
Officials signed agreements to promote innovation, ease visa requirements and boosting air connectivity between the two countries.
The two countries have agreed to set up an entrepreneurship development centre in Kigali. And RwandaAir will start services to India in the coming months and both countries will mutually exempt visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holders.
New Delhi and Kigali have enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations that have led to cooperation in health, technology, education, transport and trade this is the first time in the recent past to have a high profile Indian leader come to Rwanda.
Trade between the two countries has doubled in the past five years. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) says Indian firms have invested US$ 317.5 million in the country.
The Indian government offered Rwanda a concession loan of US$ $91 million, which was used to finance a 28MW Hydro Power Plant and another $98 million, which will fund a 17MW plant has been signed.
“India and Rwanda are great friends, and Rwanda has a good population of Indian community here and, we have had a valid complaint of not having a resident mission in Kigali. So, the government has already taken up the matter and in the coming week and months the physical presence of resident mission will be here,” Shri Hamid Ansari said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Vice President visited the Kigali Memorial site and described his experience as “moving” citing Rwandan’s resilience and courage to work towards true reconciliation and reconciliation.
“A visit to this memorial is a moving experience. On behalf of the people of India and on my own behalf, I salute the resilience and courage demonstrated by the Rwandan people to put behind the hatred and move ahead on a path of reconciliation and inclusion. It is a testament to an indomitable national spirit,” Hamid Ansari wrote in the memorial guestbook.