Kutesa said India’s bilateral relations with Uganda, have facilitated the latter’s development in different sectors of the economy and was optimistic that they shall continue growing stronger.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa has hailed India for its co-operation with developing countries worldwide including Uganda, which have in turn spurred economic growth.
"At multilateral level, we have maintained close convergence on major international issues together with India. I applaud India's efforts to promote service co-operation with developing countries," he said.
This was at a reception at India High Commission offices in Nakasero on Friday evening.
Kutesa said India's bilateral relations with Uganda, have facilitated the latter's development in different sectors of the economy and was optimistic that they shall continue growing stronger.
"These relations are historical in cultural, political and economic spheres. In fact, although India established diplomatic relations with Uganda in 1965, relations between our two countries date back to the 19th century. Our relations have been maintained through exchange visits," he said.
In July last year, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited Uganda in which several memorandums of understanding in defence, visa exemptions and exchange programmes among others were signed.
Kutesa said challenges such as trade wars, terrorism among others require co-operation from different countries to be overcome.
He said there is an on-going digital revolution and India is an excellent example of a third world country that has embraced digital transformation.
"I personally believe that Africa should not lose in this revolution as it lost in other aspects of revolutions. We have created human capacity, educated people; let's share experiences, knowledge that together we can build the world," he stated.
Shri Ravi Shankar, the High Commissioner of India to Uganda said the co-operation between Uganda and India takes many forms and is expanding rapidly.
"India offered Uganda soft loans worth $141m towards establishment of electricity transmission and distribution network and $64m for agriculture and diary production. We shall continue to support the aspirations of people of Uganda, agriculture, education and trading," he stated.
He added: "India continues to be a major investor in Uganda and key trading partner, more than 500 students from Uganda travel to India every year to study from different universities; under graduates and postgraduates."
Shankar said India today is among the fastest growing major economies of the world from a net food grain importing country to a leading exporter of food commodities.
He also said the digital India programme that has been put in place by the present government is creating a knowledge economy through universal provision of digital infrastructure to enhance a cashless economy.
"Other initiatives are innovation and entrepreneurship. Under skilling India Initiative, the national skills development mission is working on skilling of 300 million youths by the year 2020," said Shankar.
Harish Bhuptani, the chairman of Mama Care Foundation, a not-for profit philanthropic nutrition project noted that there are so many factors that indicate progress of the country which could be friendships in culture, education and trade among others.
"I am happy that Uganda and India share very old ties for more than 200 years. I am also happy that Prime Minister Modi and President Museveni have struck a very good chemistry and as a result of that, economic, cultural and education ties are occurring. And because of that, Ugandans and Indians feel integrated; this is our happiness that we are from India , we are living in Uganda but we feel at home," said Bhuptani.
Meanwhile during India Republic day on January 26, there were various activities by the Indian community and these include singing patriotism songs, flag hoisting dance and drama among others.