Shape own world, visiting Indian VP tells youth

Shri Hamid Ansari, the vice-president of India, has urged Rwandan youth to have “wisdom” and resist limitations if they are to shape their own future.
Fourth year student at sciences and tech faculty college, Raissa Mugisha asks the Indian vice president a question yesterday. Faustin Niyigena
Fourth year student at sciences and tech faculty college, Raissa Mugisha asks the Indian vice president a question yesterday. Faustin Niyigena

Shri Hamid Ansari, the vice-president of India, has urged Rwandan youth to have “wisdom” and resist limitations if they are to shape their own future.

Ansari was addressing hundreds of students at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology yesterday afternoon.

“I am happy to be in this beautiful land and to have the opportunity to share some thoughts with the young people, who would shape the world in their own chosen ways,” said Ansari as interacted with high-level officials, students, and took part in a business forum, yesterday.

“I say this in the confidence that your generation would have the wisdom to avoid follies and limitations of the past to look forward instead to a future for our world in which the operative principle would be cooperation rather than contention and the objective would be mutual benefit rather than selfish greed,” he said.

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Education Minister Dr Musafiri speaks. Faustin Niyigena

Ansari hailed Rwanda’s “impressive signs” of development.

“I must compliment you on the impressive signs of development and progress that are evident everywhere. This, I understand, has been possible due to the foresight and sagacious vision of the leadership and the hard work of the people. We in India see ourselves as a strong development partner of Rwanda,” the Indian VP, who was accompanied by a delegation of 27 people, including 15 innovators, said.

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Ansari speaks to the participants as vice chancellor Philip Cotton looks on yesterday at UR's colleage of sciences and technologies. Faustin Niyigena

Pledges further ties

Rwanda and India have enjoyed strong bilateral relations for quite some time with the two countries cooperating in solar electrification, food processing, skills development, hydropower projects, health and education.

During President Kagame’s recent visit to India – where he attended the Vibrant Gujarat summit – an understanding was reached for a new line of credit worth $80 million for a road project.

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Indian VP Shri M Hamid Ansari (left) and UR vice chancellor Philip Cotton receive questions of students yesterday. Faustin Niyigena

Ansari said India was committed to continuing and enhancing the provision of scholarships to Rwandan civilians and defence personnel under various technical cooperation programme.

Ansari is optimistic that more can be done to shore up bilateral trade by encouraging Indian companies to seize the opportunities that Rwanda presents.

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, according to Rwanda Development Board.

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Participants given brochures. Faustin Niyigena

“Rwanda has a dynamic economy and ranks highly in the ease of doing business, providing many incentives for investors. We share with Rwanda this strong desire to provide stable democratic governance and opportunities for growth and prosperity of our people,” Ansari said.

Education minister Papias Musafiri said that the Indian vice-president’s visit to Rwanda, and to the University of Rwanda in particular, was an act of “sowing a seed” of success for the future of the nation.

“We are grateful to the Government of the Republic of India and the people of India for their tremendous contribution to the development of our higher education sector in Rwanda. This contribution has been made in various ways such as Indian experts and investors working with local institutions of higher learning in various subsectors, especially in science and ICTs, as well as various scholarships offered to Rwandan students in India,” Musafiri said.

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Participants were mainly lecturers and students of the university. Faustin Niyigena

He noted that Rwanda is grateful for the new support and commitments, including 50,000 scholarships for Africans in the next five years.

Musafiri said such commitments by India would help address skills gap in areas of health and entrepreneurship, among others, where Africa still lags behind the rest of the world.

Ansari, who was accompanied by his wife, Salma Ansari, was scheduled to head to Uganda yesterday after the conclusion of his three-day visit.

 

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