NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a state visit to three African countries, namely Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa, over five days, starting today.
The Prime Minister will first arrive at Rwanda, marking the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister, a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
Thereafter, Prime Minister Modi will proceed to Uganda, where he will undertake engagements from July 24 to 25. The visit will mark the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in over 20 years.
Finally, Prime Minister Modi will pay a visit to South Africa from July 25 to 27 to attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit.
Prime Minister Modi's official engagement in Rwanda and Uganda will include bilateral meetings with the presidents of both the nations, delegation-level talks and meetings with the business and the Indian communities respectively, the MEA statement added.
In Rwanda, the Prime Minister will visit the Genocide Memorial and participate in an event on "Girinka" (one cow per family), a national social protection scheme of Rwanda, which is personally initiated by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
In Uganda, Prime Minister Modi will deliver a keynote address at the Parliament of Uganda, a first for any Indian Prime Minister.
In South Africa, Prime Minister Modi will have a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and will attend the BRICS summit and other BRICS-related meetings.
Also, bilateral meetings with participating countries on the sidelines of BRICS meetings are planned, the statement continued.
Various issues such as - inclusive growth, health and vaccines, peacekeeping, and sustainable development will be the core agenda during the BRICS summit.
The MEA statement said, "India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Africa which are cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian diaspora. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of defence, trade, culture, agriculture and dairy cooperation are scheduled to be signed during the visit."
"Africa has been the top priority of India's Foreign Policy. The visit of the Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent," it added.
Over the last few years, there has been a significant intensification of India's engagement in various fields with African countries and there have been as many as 23 outgoing visits to Africa at the level of President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years.