President Museveni, Premier Modi address Indian community at Kololo

Wednesday, 25th July 2018

The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Damodhardas Modi, has applauded Uganda for the fast pace of development so far achieved saying this is a challenge on African continent. He said that feat of success by Uganda has set a centre stage, like India has done in challenging the rest of the world over manufacturing and industrial development.
Premier Modi and his host President Yoweri Museveni jointly addressed over 30,000 members of the Indian community in Uganda last evening at the national independence grounds in Kololo where the two leaders, together with the 1st Lady Hon. Janet Museveni, unveiled the statue of former Indian 1st Deputy Premier Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875 – 1950) to commemorate his contribution to the fight for Indian independence. A centre named after him is to be established at Lugogo in Kampala.
"Today, India competes with the developed world in the manufacture of many products yet it suffered alongside Africa in the days of slavery, colonialism and exploitation by the western world. India now is a world hub for IT, in the manufacture of sophisticated items like cellular phones, vehicles that are exported worldwide and Indian people are empowered with digital systems manufacturing sector," said Mr. Modi.
Premier Modi said that the bilateral relations between Uganda and India have enabled Indians to live in Uganda up to four generations adding that the first Speaker of the Ugandan legislature after independence was an Indian.
Mr. Modi thanked President Museveni and his government for enabling the return of Indians who had been expelled from Uganda in 1972. He noted that the partnership between Africa and India is growing stronger adding that Africans should emulate India's socio-economic, technological and political developments in order to root for the continued advancement of African continents.
On his part, President Museveni said that although Africa and the Sub-Continent of India are separated by the Indian Ocean, the two areas their relationship has played an important role in the development.
“Since the time of Mahatma Ghandi, the hard work of the Indians has made tremendous economic development in Uganda, East Africa and Africa at large, the construction of the Uganda railway in the 1890s, the establishment of businesses by Indian men and women, opened up East Africa. It brought business and trade opportunities. The free migration of Indians eventually set up trading posts in the interior which gave birth to traders and merchants of East Africa,” he said.
"Today, the sizeable Indian community living in Uganda is vibrant and holds an important position in the economy and political life in the country," he added.
President Museveni further remarked that Indians have made an indelible mark on Uganda's economy and business landscape because they have established industries, banks, hotels, insurance firms and agro-processing plants noting that these roles have provided employment opportunities and a tax base for government.
He commended the economic and commercial ties between Uganda and India adding that Uganda highly values the contribution that the Indian community continues to make to deepen and strengthen those ties.