Modi in Africa: Indian PM to Gift 200 Cows to Village in Rwanda as Part of President Kagame's Girinka Scheme


New Delhi, July 24: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today gift 200 cows in Rwanda, his first stop of the five-day tour to three African nations – Rwanda, Uganda and finally South Africa where he will attend the BRICS Summit.

PM Modi’s unusual gift to the country, which will be locally sourced, is meant as a contribution to Rwandan President Kagame’s Girinka program, in which the poorest get cows from the government and gift the first female calf to a neighbour to promote brotherhood.

PM Modi is visiting the country along with a 100-member business delegation. His visit starts as Chinese President XI Jinping has wrapped up his state visit to Rwanda.

The two leaders are likely to meet on the sidelines of the the BRICS Summit, where they will discuss the US’ trade war and its protectionist trade policies.

India on Monday extended $200 million lines of credit to Rwanda as PM Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Paul Kagame and discussed measures to boost the bilateral strategic ties by strengthening cooperation in trade and agriculture sectors.

After the one-on-one talks with President Kagame, PM Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the East African country, announced that India will soon open its mission in Rwanda.

We are going to open a High Commission in Rwanda. This will not only establish communication between our respective governments but also enable facilities for consular, passport, visa, Mr. Modi said at a joint press statement.

Addressing a gathering of Indian community in Rwanda on Monday, the prime minister said that the Indian diaspora is making a mark all over the world and they are country’s “rashtradoots” (ambassadors).

“I am delighted to interact with the Indian community in Rwanda. President @PaulKagame said to me that the Indian community is contributing to Rwanda’s progress and they are also doing lot of community service. I was happy to hear this. All over the world, the Indian diaspora is making a mark. They are our ‘Rashtradoots’,” he said.

His two-day state visit to Rwanda — one of Africa’s fastest growing economies — assumes significance as it could boost India’s strategic ties with this country.

Modi would proceed to Uganda on July 24 for a two-day visit, the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister since 1997.

From Uganda, Modi will head to South Africa on July 25 to participate in the BRICS Summit, whose theme this year is ‘BRICS in Africa’.

( With inputs from agencies)

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