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Bilateral Relations  

India-Uganda Relation

India-Uganda Bilateral Relations

Political Relations

India and Uganda share historical relations spanning over a century. Indians first came to Uganda in the beginning of 20th century. India’s freedom struggle inspired the early Ugandan activists to fight colonization and eventually Uganda achieved freedom in 1962. India established its diplomatic presence in Uganda in 1965. During the reign of President Amin in early 70’s, around 60,000 Indians/PIOs were expelled. However, after coming into power in 1986, President Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni invited them back. Several progressive steps like restoring properties seized from PIOs encouraged many of those Indians to come back and make a fresh start. Relations between India and Uganda, over the years, have acquired a greater depth and breadth in areas such as political, defence, economic, commercial, cultural, education, health and tourism to name a few. Visits.

Bilateral Cooperation & Assistance

  • The first ever Foreign Office Consultations between India and Uganda were held on 30 April 2018 in Kampala where issues of bilateral, regional and global importance were discussed.
  • During the visit of PM of India to Uganda in July 2018, MoUs/Agreements on bilateral defence cooperation, exemption from visa requirement for official and diplomatic passport holders, Cultural Exchange programme and establishment of Regional Material Laboratory in Uganda were signed. PM announced two Lines of Credits for construction of electricity lines and Substations worth US $ 141 million and Agriculture and Dairy production for US $ 64 million. Additional training of Uganda People's Defence Force in various Indian Army training institutions was also announced. Further, a financial support for East African Community (EAC) which was then chaired by Uganda was announced. India also announced donation of vehicles, for the Ugandan Peoples Defence Forces and for civil use by the Ugandan Government; Bhabhatron Cancer Therapy machine to Uganda Cancer Institute; NCERT books for school going children of Uganda; and solar-power irrigation pumps to help in development of agriculture. During his visit, PM Modi addressed the Ugandan Parliament, which was telecast live in India and many African countries. This was the first time that an Indian PM addressed the Ugandan Parliament, a singular honour conferred on him. In his historic speech, PM inter-alia, outlined India’s approach to Africa and reiterated our commitment to engage with the continent.
  • NCERT books announced during PM visit were handed over in October 2019. Radiotherapy machine was commissioned at Mulago Hospital in February 2020. 44 utility vehicles for civilian use were handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 2020. 36 military vehicles were handed over to UPDF in August 2020. Twenty laptops were handed over in August 2020 and four SUVs (Mahindra XUV) in December 2020 to the Ministry of East African Community Affairs.
  • India donated 1 lakh HCQ tablets and 1 lakh Paracetamol tablets to Uganda in May 2020 to assist fighting Covid19. Govt. of India also sent a consignment of medicines, consisting of 521 cartons in August 2020. India also gifted 1 lakh Covishield vaccines to Uagnda in March 2021.
  • The 2nd phase of Pan-Africa e-network project has been launched by the Govt. of India in Uganda. A university and a hospital have been identified for e-VBAB. Online courses by the partner universities in India have been started from the academic year 2020-21 under e-Vidya Bharati. During the visit of V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs in November 2021, the e-Vidhya Bharti e-Arogya Bharti (E-VBAB) Learning Centre at the Makerere University's College of Computing and Information Science was inaugurated.
  • Launching of Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Indian Affairs. Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Indian Affairs was jointly launched on 3rd August 2022 by Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among, Speaker, Parliament of Uganda and H.E. A. Ajay Kumar, High Commissioner of India in the presence of Hon. Fred Opolot, MP, Chairman of the Forum. Forum will enable continuous dialogue and enhanced cooperation among Parliamentarians of both countries.
  • Visit of President Museveni: Ugandan President Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni visited India twice on State Visit (October 1992 and April 2008), and once officially in October 2015 to attend the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit. He has visited India four times in a private capacity.

Visits: High-Level visits (From India)

  • Vice-President of India visited Uganda in February 2017.  

  • At the invitation of President of Uganda, PM Shri Narendra Modi undertook a state visit to Uganda in July 2018

  • Shri Om Birla, Honble Speaker Lok Sabha led a 84-member delegation to attend the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference held from 22-29 September 2019. The Indian delegation comprised of MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Secretary General of Lok Sabha, officers and Speakers/Dy. Speakers and MLAs from 25 State Legislative Assemblies.

  • Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs visited Uganda for three days from November 11 to November 13, 2022.

High-Level Visits (From Uganda)

  • Ugandan President Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni visited India twice on State Visit (October 1992 and April 2008), and once officially in October 2015 to attend the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit. He has visited India four times in a private capacity.

  • Mr. Edward Ssekandi, Vice President of Uganda attended the 9th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave held in New Delhi in March 2013. He again visited India in March 2018 to participate in the 13th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in Delhi where Uganda was a guest country. He also travelled to Mumbai to address the Uganda-India Investment Conference. He also met the Vice-President of India.

  • Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda visited India in March 2017 to attend CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership. He also called on President and Vice-President.

  • Henry Oryem Okello, Minister of State for International Affairs in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda visited India to participate in the Africa Day celebrations during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in January 2019 in Ahmedabad.

  • Energy Minister Irene Muloni participated in the PETROTECH-2019 held in New Delhi in February 2019.

  • Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng attended the Preparatory Meeting of the Global Fund Sixth Replenishment 2020-2022 held in New Delhi in February 2019.

  • Aggreu Bagiire Henry, Minister of Works and Transport of Uganda visited India to participate in the 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave in March 2019.

  • The Second General Assembly of the ISA was held on 30-31 October 2019 in New Delhi. Minister of State for Energy from the Government of Uganda, Hon’ble Simon D'Jang represented Uganda.

  • Adolf Mwesige, Minister of Defence of Uganda and senior officers from the Ugandan Defence Forces visited India in February 2020 to attend the Defexpo and the India Africa Defence Ministers Meet.

Bilateral Trade: An India-Uganda Trade Agreement was signed in 1965, under which both countries accorded Most Favoured Nation status to each other. Uganda is a beneficiary of Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme of India for Least Developed Countries. A Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between India and Uganda is ineffect since 2004.Major items of Indian exports to Uganda include pharmaceutical products, vehicles, plastic, paper and paperboard, organic chemicals. Major commodities of imports from Uganda to India are edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers, coffee, tea, mate and spices, wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal, cotton, essential oils, and cocoa and cocoa preparation. Regular engagement between the private sectors in India and Uganda has deepened the involvement of Indian businesses in Uganda.

S.No.

Year

2017-20182018-20192019-20202020-20212021-2022
1. EXPORT532.26580.08621.52670.32697.78
2 .%Growth 8.987.147.854.10
3. %Share of India’s Export0.180.180.200.230.17
4.IMPORT56.2123.0633.9838.59142.33
5. %Growth -58.9747.3613.57268.79
6. %Share of India’s import0.010.000.010.010.02
7. TOTAL TRADE588.47603.14655.50708.91840.11
8. %Growth 2.498.688.1518.51
9. TRADE BALANCE476.05557.02587.54631.72555.45

Scholarships and capacity-building training programmes

India is seen as a destination for quality and affordable education by Ugandans. The Government of India offers scholarships and fellowships to Ugandans from the Government and private sector to enable them to pursue under-graduate, post-graduate and research courses in India. Training courses in highly specialised areas are also conducted. India also conducts training courses for Uganda’s defence personnel. An Indian Army Training Team is stationed at the Ugandan Army's Senior Command and Staff College, Kimaka since February 2010 to assist in the training of the senior officers of the Ugandan armed forces.

An estimated 1200 Ugandan students are presently studying in Indian universities. Over the years, hundreds of Ugandans have studied in Indian colleges and universities, including many Ugandan Ministers and high- ranking Government officials. An APTECH franchise and ISBAT University in Kampala have brought Indian education even closer to Ugandans.

An education delegation, "Study-in-India" Team comprising of around 25 members from Education Consultants India Limited [EdCIL], along with representatives of 10 key Universities in India visited Kampala from 17-22 March, 2019. The main purpose of
the visit was to conduct an Educational Fair in Kampala on 18-19 March, 2019, and to promote Indian Higher Education in Uganda. The Fair had 500 registrations from prospective Ugandan students. The delegation also visited Universities and Schools to interact with children and faculty about their program and had meetings with key officers in the Ministry of Education &Sports, Uganda. Now ‘Study in India’ has become a regular feature and hundreds of students go to India for study under this programme.

Every year 35 Ugandan nationals are selected for full time scholarships under Indian Council for Cultural Relations for pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies at various Indian universities. Other than these, various Ugandan nationals undergo short-term/medium term trainings under various ITEC programmes of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Indian diaspora

The Indian community presents the strongest and most durable economic and cultural links with Uganda. It is estimated that at present, there are approx. 35,000 Indians/PIOs living in Uganda, of which majority are Indian passport holders. The Indian Community is mainly concentrated in Kampala and in the town of Jinja. Indians and PIOs play a leading role in the Ugandan economy, especially in manufacturing, trade, agro-processing, banking, sugar, real estate, hotels, tourism and information technology. They employ thousands of Ugandans, and are amongst the biggest taxpayers in the country. PIOs and NRIs are estimated to have invested over US$ 1 billion in Uganda in the last two decades. Indian Nationals/PIOs who constitute less than 0.1% of Uganda’s population, contribute a major part of Uganda’s direct taxes.

‘Indian Association’ and Indian Women Association are two pan Indian associations representing different states and Indian diaspora. However, there are more than forty- five other community associations representing different states and communities displaying the rich cultural diversity of Indian diaspora. High Commission closely works with all these associations.

‘India Day’, an annual feature, showcases Indian culture and attracts thousands of visitors. The event serves to bring together the Indian and Ugandan community. The Indian Association organizes cultural performances on this occasion wherein popular artists from India are invited to perform. The Indian community engages in philanthropic activities in equal measure. Individuals and companies of PIOs regularly perform their share of social responsibility. A share of proceeds from various events mentioned above is donated to social causes in Uganda including sponsoring heart surgeries of Ugandan children in India, assistance to homeless, organizing blood donation camps etc.

July 2022

 
 
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