Despite Uganda being home to thousands of Indian business interests, their Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not considered visiting the Pearl of Africa when he jets into the continents next week.
Modi will arrive in Mozambique on July 7 before heading to South Africa for a two-day visit, the Indian foreign ministry announced.
He will also visit Tanzania and Kenya.
His visit follows a major summit last October that saw President Museveni and 49 other African heads of state converge on the Indian capital.
Its economic presence in Africa is dwarfed by that of China, whose trade with the continent topped $200 billion last year more than the GDP of the 30 smallest African economies combined.
Bilateral trade between Uganda and India stood at $1,247.82 million (Shs4.2 trillion) in 2013 according to statistics from Bank of Uganda. Out of this total trade India’s exports to Uganda were worth $1,231 million (Shs4.1 trillion) and Uganda’s exports to India were only $16 million (Shs54 billion) in 2013.Uganda’s exports to India are predominantly agricultural commodities which include coffee, tea and legumes, among others.
Uganda imports almost 30% of its pharmaceuticals from India while India emerged the second largest source of Foreign Direct Investments for Uganda in 2011.
Mondi’s decision to ignore Uganda while seeking to boost India’s influence on a continent where rival Asian power China enjoys significant clout may weaken diplomatic ties as the Asian nation as it vies for a greater share of the continent’s natural resources. Efforts to get a comment from the Indian High Commissioner to Uganda, Dr Ramesh Chandra were futile by presstime.
Meanwhile Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Uganda today with one clear priority – to end decades of hostility and convince African countries to stop voting against Israel at the United Nations