India to Open 18 New Embassies Across Africa, Modi Says in Uganda

Narendra Modi’s speech in the Ugandan parliament, the first one by a sitting Indian leader, came during his three-nation tour to Africa.


India will open 18 new embassies across Africa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed the parliament in Uganda on July 25. The new missions are likely to come up within three years, AFP reported, citing an official.

India’s move comes keeping in view China’s increased presence in the continent. Currently, there are 29 full Indian diplomatic missions in Africa as compared to China, which has 50, the report added.

Modi’s speech in the Ugandan parliament, the first one by a sitting Indian leader, came during his ongoing three-nation tour to Africa. Modi arrived on a two-day visit to Kampala from Rwanda, and then left for South Africa to participate in a BRICS nations summit with leaders of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.

Modi highlighted the centuries-old connections between India and Uganda during his speech. “Our ancient maritime links, the dark ages of colonial rule, the shared struggle for freedom, the uncertain paths as independent countries in a divided world, the dawn of the new opportunities and the unity of aspirations of our young population. All of these connect us,” he said.

The Indian prime minister also announced loans worth $200 million for infrastructure development and environmental projects, as well as the donation of a much-required cancer therapy machine in Uganda. He also thanked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for welcoming back Asians in the country who were expelled during despot Idi Amin’s rule in the 1970s.

“Your visionary leadership has enabled Ugandan people of Indian origin to return to their cherished home, regain their lives and help rebuild the nation that they deeply love,” Modi said, according to a government statement.

He also announced construction of a Gandhi Heritage Centre at Jinja, at the source of River Nile, where a portion of Gandhi’s ashes were immersed, and where a statue of his now stands.

Earlier during his Africa tour, Modi donated 200 cows to poor villagers in Rwanda.

The Indian cabinet had earlier this year agreed to the proposal of opening 18 new Indian missions in Africa over a period of four years, from 2018-2021, in a bid to boost the country’s relations with African nations. The new missions will be opened in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo, bringing the number of resident Indian missions in Africa to 47, the Indian government said in March.

“The decision will enhance India’s diplomatic outreach in the African continent and allow India to engage with Indian diaspora in African countries. Opening of new Missions is also a step towards implementing the vision of enhanced cooperation and engagement with Africa,” the statement had said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *