President Paul Kagame yesterday received Indian Vice-President Shri Hamid Ansari, who paid him a courtesy call at Village Urugwiro.
The Indian vice-president is in Rwanda on a three-day state visit that began Sunday and is accompanied by a delegation comprising public and private sector players.
The two leaders discussed at length the strengthening the bilateral relations, especially in trade.
According to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Claude Nikobisanzwe, who was present at the meeting, the leaders discussed ways to further boost the existing partnership.
“The Indian vice-president commended the warm turn-around and progress of the country in recent years and congratulated the President for his role in the progress,” he said.
While in the country, the Indian vice president witnessed the signing of three agreements between the two countries which include a bilateral air service agreement between Rwanda and India which comes at a time when RwandAir is planning to commence flights to the Asian country.
The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre as well as an agreement for the exemption of visa requirements for diplomatic and service passport holders.
The two countries have enjoyed warm bilateral ties since 1999 which has grown over the years in multiple areas, including trade, investments and international cooperation, among others.
During President Kagame’s visit to India early this year for the Vibrant Gujarat (VG) Summit, Rwanda and India signed multiple agreements including a commitment to double bilateral trade in five years as well as people-to-people exchanges signified by movement of professionals.
Following the January summit, India committed to avail a credit line of $120 million for the development and expansion of an Export Targeted Irrigated Agriculture Project.
India conveyed its readiness to support Technical and Vocational Education and Training centres and Huye-Kibeho road project.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced gifting of 100 tonnes of medicines, worth about $2 million, and a cash grant of $1 million for sourcing medical equipment from India.
The last six years have seen a total of 66 Indian owned investments registered in the country with a total value of about $317.5 million, which have created some 3,800 jobs in several sectors.
Notable investments include Airtel, Acacia Property Developers, Mahatma Gandhi University, Gisovu Tea Company and Imana Steel, among others.
Prior to his courtesy call to the President, Ansari visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Gisozi, to pay respect to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. He also held talks with Senate president Bernard Makuza.
On his first day in Rwanda, he met the Indian community in Rwanda at a reception hosted in his honour.
Ansari who is accompanied by his wife, Salma Ansari, and a 27-person delegation of government and private sector officials, leaves for Uganda today after an interaction with students at the University of Rwanda.