July 24, 2018 / 5:04 PM / in 2 months

India offers Uganda credit to boost energy, agriculture

KAMPALA (Reuters) - India has offered Uganda a total $205 million worth of credit to help the East African country expand its electricity distribution infrastructure and invest in its agriculture sector, which employs majority of its workforce.

A statement issued in Kampala where India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi started a two-day visit on Tuesday, said Modi and his host President Yoweri Museveni also discussed reform of the U.N. security council.

A loan of $141 million would be extended to Kampala to build electricity transmission lines and substations while another $64 million would spent on boosting agriculture and diary production, the statement said.

Uganda and India’s relations date back to the 19th Century when Britain shipped a large number of Indians into East Africa to build a railway from the Indian Ocean coast into the hinterland and terminating in Uganda’s west.

The Indian labourers remained after constructing the railway, growing into a large and economically successful community in the intervening decades of colonialism.

When dictator Idi Amin took power in Uganda in 1971, he accused them of exploiting the country and subsequently expelled them from Uganda, giving their businesses to locals.

Some returned under incumbent President Yoweri Museveni and are thriving in a range of sectors including manufacturing, retail and services.

Museveni and Modi “reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion, to make it more representative ... and responsive to the geopolitical realities of the 21st century.”

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by George Obulutsa; editing by David Evans

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