India-Rwanda Current Affairs - 2019
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India and Rwanda have signed eight agreements in the fields of defence, trade, agriculture, leather and allied products and dairy. The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. PM Modi became first Indian Prime Minister to visit Rwanda.
Highlights of Bilateral meetings
PM Modi and Kagame held wide-ranging talks and discussed a host of measures to boost bilateral strategic ties. India assured Rwanda that India will continue to its development efforts. India also extended two lines of credit (LoCs) worth $200 million to Rwanda for development of industrial parks and Kigali Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and for development of three agricultural projects in Rwanda. PM Modi also announced opening of the first Indian diplomatic mission in Rawanda, which will help to establish communication between governments of two countries and also enable facilities for consular, passport and visa. Both countries also agreed to set up task force to enable digital learning mediums for children.
Signed Agreements are
- Amendment on MoU on Cooperation in field of Agriculture and Animal Resources: It focuses on cooperation in agriculture and livestock with strong emphasis on research, technological development, capacity building and human resource development as well as investment mobilization.
- Agreement on Cooperation Defence on Capacity Building, Defence, Industry, Science and Technology: Capacity Building, Defence, Industry, Science and Technology.
- MoU on Cultural Exchange Program for year 2018-22: Music and Dance, Theatre, Exhibitions, Seminars and Conference, Archeology, Archives, Library, Museums, Literature, Research and Documentation etc.
- MoU on Agricultural Research and Education between RAB and ICAR: Training and Research in Dairy, Processing of Dairy Products, Quality and Safety of Mil, Biotechnological Intervention in Livestock.
- Trade Cooperation Framework: Facilitate, diversify and promote trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
- MoU on Collaboration in the Areas of Leather and Allied Sectors between NIRDA and CSIR-CLRI
- LoC Agreement for US $ 100 million for development of Industrial Parks and expansion of Kigali Special Economic Zones
- LoC Agreement for US $ 100 million for Agriculture irrigation scheme in Rwanda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted 200 cows to villagers from Rweru villages as part of Rwandan Government’s Girinka Programme. The programme was initiated by President Paul Kagame in response to alarmingly high rate of childhood malnutrition and as way to accelerate poverty reduction and integrate livestock and crop farming. Under this programme, poorest residing in region get cows from Government and gift first female calf to neighbour to promote brotherhood. The programme is based on premise that providing dairy cow to poor, transforms livelihoods, reconciles communities improving agricultural productivity through use of manure as fertilizers. The program has contributed to increase in agricultural production in Rwanda – especially milk production and products and has reduced malnutrition and increased incomes.
India’s upper house of parliament Rajya Sabha and Senate of Rwanda has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue capacity building and cooperation. It was signed between Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and visiting President of Senate of Rwanda, Bernard Makuza in New Delhi.
The MoU has 6 articles of cooperation and seeks to promote inter-Parliamentary dialogue, capacity building of parliamentary staff, organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programmes. It also calls for conducting workshops and exchanges, collaboration in mutual interest in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies in furtherance of bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.
Significance: This is for the first time in 76 years since Rajya Sabha came into being, it has entered into MoU with foreign counterpart for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue. Besides, it makes Venkaiah Naidu first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign such agreement with foreign counterpart.