KIGALI: External affairs minister S Jaishankar lauded the Indian community in Rwanda
for its contribution towards strengthening bilateral ties and spoke about India's progress while interacting with community members during his visit to this East African country.
Jaishankar is in Rwanda to attend the 26th commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) from June 22-25. He will represent the Prime Minister of India at the Commonwealth Summit on June 24-25, as well as attend the pre-CHOGM foreign ministers' meeting on June 23 in Kigali.
Jaishankar is leading the Indian delegation to the CHOGM, which had earlier been postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Good to interact with the Indian community in Kigali yesterday evening. Spoke to them about progress in India. Appreciated their contribution to the India-Rwanda relationship. Also met Indian participants for Commonwealth events in Kigali," he said in a tweet on Thursday.
Jaishankar also met Kenya's cabinet secretary for foreign affairs Raychelle Omamo and discussed the impact of the Ukraine conflict.
"So nice to meet my friend Raychelle Omamo of Kenya. Our discussions focused on the impact of the Ukraine conflict on food,fuel, and fertilizer security for the Global South. Reaffirmed our ongoing cooperation in the UNSC," he said in another tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
's trip to Rwanda in July 2018 was a historic one as it was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the East African country.
According to the website of the Indian high commission in Rwanda, there are approximately 3,000 Indian nationals and PIOs (Person of Indian Origin) in Rwanda. Rwanda's only sugar refinery, the country's only modern textile mill as well as a soap and cosmetic factory are PIO-owned.
Investments from India are in the tea sector by Assam's Luxmi Tea, a Kolkata-based company. TVS motorbikes are quite popular in Rwanda. Airtel Rwanda is one of the major players in the telecom sector in Rwanda. Sahasra Lighting is also a key player in the supply of LED lighting and solar panels, it noted.
The government of Rwanda has a positive attitude towards the Indian community. During the genocide of 1994, no Indian national was killed or injured. The positive role that the Indian community plays in the Rwandan economy is well appreciated by the Rwandan government, it added.
The theme of the 26th CHOGM Summit is "Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming”.
The leaders of the commonwealth member states are scheduled to deliberate on issues of contemporary relevance, including global challenges like – climate change, food security, health issues and are likely to adopt the following four Outcome Documents: CHOGM Communique; Kigali Declaration on Child Care and Protection Reform; Declaration on Sustainable Urbanisation and Commonwealth Living Lands Charter: A Commonwealth Call to Action on Living Lands (CALL), the ministry of external affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.
During the visit, Jaishankar is expected to hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Commonwealth member states and other visiting dignitaries, it said.
India is also one of the largest contributors to the Commonwealth and has assisted the organisation with technical assistance and capacity building.
In 2018, India announced the creation of a Commonwealth Window, dedicating $50 million for development projects and assistance to developing countries of the Commonwealth.