Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Story of India's freedom struggle intimately linked to Africa: PM

ANI | Updated: Jul 25, 2018 19:06 IST

Kampala [Uganda], July 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday addressed the Parliament of Uganda and said that India feels "proud" to be Africa's partner as India's story of freedom struggle is "intimately" linked to the continent.
"Our ancient maritime links, the dark age of colonialism, 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 this connect us," Prime Minister Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that there can't be any better way to pay a homage to Mahatma Gandhi by making a Gandhi Heritage Centre in Jinja, where a part of his mortal remains was immersed.
"As we approach the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, there can be no better homage than a Centre to remind us of Africa's role in shaping his mission," the Prime Minister said.
"The story of India's own freedom struggle is intimately linked to Africa. It is not just the 21 years that Gandhiji spent in Africa, or the First Non- Cooperation Movement he led. For India, the moral principles of independence movement were not just confined to the boundaries of India. It was a universal quest for liberty, dignity, equality and opportunity for every human being. Nowhere did it apply more than in Africa," he added.
Later on, the Prime Minister also laid out ten important principles to guide India's engagement with Africa:
1) Africa will be at the top of India's priorities. India will continue to intensify and deepen their engagement with Africa. It will be sustained and regular.
2) The development partnership between India and Africa will be guided by Africa's priorities. It will be on terms that will be comfortable for Africa, that will liberate their potential and not constrain their future.
3) India will keep their markets open and make it easier and more attractive to trade with India. India will support their industry to invest in Africa.
4) India will harness their experience with digital revolution to support Africa's development, improve delivery of public services, extend education and health, spread digital literacy, expand financial inclusion and mainstream the marginalised.
5) Africa has 60 percent of the world's arable land but produces just 10 percent of the global output. India will work with Africa to improve their agriculture.
6) The partnership between India and Africa will address the challenges of climate change.
7) India will strengthen their cooperation and mutual capabilities in combating terrorism and extremism, keeping their cyberspace safe and secure and supporting the UN in advancing and keeping peace.
8) India will work with African nations to keep the oceans open and free for the benefit of all nations.
9) As global engagement in Africa increases, both countries (India and Uganda) will work together to ensure that Africa does not once again turn into a theatre of rival ambitions but becomes a nursery for the aspirations of Africa's youth.
10) Just as India and Africa fought colonialism together, they will work together for a just, representative and democratic global order that has a voice and a role for one-third of humanity that lives in Africa and India.
Prime Minister Modi stated that India's partnership currently includes "implementation of 180 Lines of Credit worth about 11 billion US dollars in over 40 African countries."
"At the last Africa India Forum Summit, we had committed a concessional Line of Credit of US 10 billion US dollars and 600 million US dollars in grant assistance," he said.
The Prime Minister on Tuesday announced 2 Lines of Credit for Uganda.
Talking about the same in the Uganda Parliament today, he said: "The first of 141 million US dollars for electricity lines, and the second of 64 million US dollars for agriculture and dairy production."
Prime Minister Modi concluded his speech saying, "India will work with you and for you. Our partnership will build instruments of empowerment in Africa. We will stand in solidarity with your endeavours, in transparency, with respect and on the principle of equality. We will speak for you, and with you."
He is on a three-nation tour to the African countries including Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa. (ANI)