India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM), Dr. S. Jaishankar, paid an official visit to the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Mozambique from 10-15 April 2023. He also made a brief stopover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 13 April 2023.
EAM visited Uganda from 10-12 April 2023. In Kampala, EAM called on President Yoweri Museveni, and had comprehensive discussions with his counterpart, the Foreign Minister of Uganda, General Jeje Odongo covering a wide range of issues. EAM along with the Minister of Water and Environment of Uganda formally launched the EXIM Bank funded project that will supply drinking water to half a million people in 20 districts of Uganda. He also had a meeting with the 25-member Parliamentary Forum on Indian Affairs to exchange views on parliamentary cooperation and India’s development partnership with Uganda.
In a landmark event, attended by Deputy Prime Minister Lukia Nakadama, Minister of Defence Vincent Sempijja, and the Foreign Minister General Jeje Odongo, EAM inaugurated the first overseas campus of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) in Jinja, Uganda. The campus, presently located in a transit building, will start classes immediately. EAM also signed a MoU between the Government of India and the Government of Uganda for setting up of a permanent campus of NFSU in Jinja. While in Jinja, he also paid homage to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. The spot marks the place where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed in the River Nile in 1948.
Jaishankar also interacted with the Indian community of Uganda and addressed the Indian Business Forum, which was attended by Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Mwebesa Francis. EAM also formally launched a project funded by the Indian community of Uganda for the restoration of the Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi. He also visited the Swaminarayan temple in Kampala.
While on transit through Ethiopia, EAM met with Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen in his office. Bilateral, regional and multilateral issues including UN related issues were discussed.
Jaishankar visited Mozambique from 13-15 April 2023. This was the first visit by an External Affairs Minister of India to Mozambique since 2010. During the visit he called on President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, Co-chaired the 5th Joint Commission Meeting with his counterpart the Mozambican Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo Dlhovo, met the Minister of Transport and Communications and the Minister of Health of the Government of Mozambique. The meetings covered a wide array of subjects including bilateral, regional and international issues. Issues related to cooperation in multilateral fora, including the UN were also discussed.
During the visit, EAM took a train ride with the Minister of Transport and Communications in the train that has been procured by Mozambique under an Indian funded Line of Credit (LoC). The railway infrastructure will augment the existing facilities available in Mozambique and provide easy means of transportation to the people. He also virtually inaugurated a bridge located on River Buzi, that forms a part of the 132 km long road being constructed under a Government of India LoC. EAM accompanied by the Mozambican Minister of Health, visited a pharmaceutical manufacturing company built with transfer of technology from India for fill and finish of vaccines and for manufacture of a variety of medicines.
EAM also had an interaction with the vibrant Indian community living in Maputo. During the visit he also offered prayers at the Shiva Temple in Maputo and the 110-year old Rama temple in Salamanga, located about 80 kms away from the capital.
The visit provided an opportunity for high level interaction with these countries and further cemented the strong bonds of friendship that India enjoys with them.