NEW DELHI: Prime minister Narendra Modi notched up yet another first when he became the first Indian PM to address the Ugandan Parliament on Wednesday. Thanking President Yoweri Museveni and Uganda, Modi stressed that India is proud to be Africa’s partner and Uganda is a key part of this outreach. Modi said the story of India’s own freedom struggle was intimately linked to Africa.
“It’s not just the 21 years that Gandhiji spent in Africa, or the First Non-Cooperation Movement he led,” he said. Noting that India plans to open 18 new embassies in Africa, he said, “We want to implement 118 lines of credit worth $11 billion in over 40 African countries…We fought against colonialism together, we shall fight for prosperity together…”
Addressing the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, he said, “Your presence, Madam Speaker, reminds me of my Lok Sabha, which also has a lady Speaker…
I am conscious of the history that brings us to this point, when the Prime Minister of the largest democracy is speaking to elected Members of the Parliament of another sovereign nation.
“Our ancient maritime links, the dark ages of colonial rule, the shared struggle for freedom, the uncertain paths as independent countries in a divided world, the dawn of the new opportunities and the unity of aspirations of our young population. All of these connect us.”