“INDIA STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH ITS FRIENDS IN AFRICA DURING THE PRESENT HEALTH CRISIS”
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|November 2020
Diplomatist Business Editor, Kanchi Batra interviewed Shri A. Ajay Kumar, High Commissioner of India to Uganda, regarding the India-Uganda relation and cooperation amid the COVID-19 period.

For an astute diplomat like you, having a distinguished career spanning two decades, serving India in various capacities, tell us about your journey so far and what it means for you to serve your country?

During the two-decade-long career in Foreign Service, I have been able to serve the country in various capacities in various countries while enriching myself with rich and varied experience. I have been fortunate to spend a significant portion of my career in West Asian countries, an area having vibrant and enduring links with India since ancient times. I have served in various capacities in Iran and Bahrain for about 9 years and as Ambassador of India to Iraq during 201415. Evacuation of Indians from Iraq in 2014 in the wake of terrorists take over large swathes of that country was very challenging and at the same time fulfilling.

India and Uganda share historical relations spanning over a century. How is it evolving in recent years? How do you see IndiaUganda ties, going forward in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic? What type of initiatives are you planning to build with Uganda when this crisis is over?

India and Uganda share historical relations spanning over a century. Indians first came to Uganda at the beginning of the 20th century. Relations between India and Uganda, over the years, have considerably broadened and deepened in areas such as political, defence, economic, commercial, cultural, education, health and tourism. As the world was bracing to face the pandemic, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda on April 9 where they discussed the health and economic challenges arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister assured President Museveni that India stands in solidarity with its friends in Africa during the present health crisis, and would extend all possible support to the Ugandan Government’s efforts to control the spread of the virus in its territory. The Government of India gifted a consignment of medicines to the Government of Uganda to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the Indian community in Uganda was also in the forefront to fight the pandemic and rendered immense contribution to the Government of Uganda.

What is the volume of Indian Investments in Uganda? What are the possibilities of increasing this?

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