Fri, 03/01/2024

The Joint Secretary /Director General for the Ministry of External Affairs of India in charge of Lines of Credit, Ms. Suja K. Menon has concluded a three-day working visit to Uganda. Speaking at the India High Commission Official Residence in Kololo, the Indian High Commissioner, H.E Upender Singh Rawat said that the purpose of Ms. Suja’s visit was to follow-up progress on the utilization of two lines of Credit offered by the Government of India and articulated by Prime Minister Mahendra Modi during his State visit to Uganda in 2018. The credit offer was extended to both the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MoEMD).

In response to the offer by India, the MAAIF has submitted a Solar Irrigation Systems Project which is considered a priority area of the Government, in order to facilitate the Parish Development Model to work efficiently and increase agricultural productivity. The MoEMD has submitted two projects for consideration; namely (i) the 220kv Bujagaali- Tororo Transmission line project (127km) that requires funding worth 59 billion Uganda shillings and (ii) Karuma –Nimule-(411Km) Nimule - Juba (301km ) Transmission Line. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Amb. Elly Kamahungye, Director for Regional and International Economic Affairs coordinated on-site assessment visits for two of the proposed projects in both Agriculture and Energy. The delegation visited the Bujagali power site where they were received and briefed by UETCL Projects Engineer, David Kabwama and by Mr. Martin Tumuhereza from the Ministry of Agriculture who led a tour to two Micro-scale irrigation projects in Busedde sub-county.In Jinja City, the India delegation were warmly received by the Deputy Mayor Ms. Fazira Kauma and Town Clerk Mr. Edward Lwanga at the Jinja City Council Offices. In addition to the earmarked projects for lines of credit, Ms. Kauma encouraged the India Delegation to consider more people to people projects in the areas of tourism and culture and digital economy, as well as training and exchange programs and twinning of cities, given the history of people of Indian descent living in Jinja.

During a tour of the source of the Nile, where the delegation enjoyed a boat excursion and a visit to the iconic Bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi, they were briefed about the Ministry of Tourism Master Plan for areas on the banks of the Nile. Town Clerk Edward Lwanga recalled the proposal during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to construct a Heritage Centre to commemorate the spot where Gandhi’s ashes were scattered following his death and cremation in 1948. High Commissioner Rawat said that Jinja holds the largest and oldest population of people of Indian heritage in Uganda and such a project would be a lasting memorial of the alliance of both peoples and would receive due consideration by the Government of India.