Kampala: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked the Ugandan people and government for providing home to the Indian-origin community after the troubles in the past in the East African country.
“There were troubled times in the past but the Ugandan government and people did not let you leave,” Modi said while addressing an Indian community event here on Tuesday night.
He expressed his gratitude to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who was also present, in this context
In early August 1972, then President of Uganda Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of his country’s Asian minority, giving them 90 days to leave the country.
At the time of the expulsion, there were approximately 80,000 individuals of South Asian descent, most of whom were Gujaratis.
Speaking at the event, Yoseveni addressed the Indian community as “my Indian tribe” and appreciated its contributions to Uganda’s development.
“Many of my Indian tribe left Uganda in 1972,” he said. “This time they would have been 200,000.”
There are around 30,000 persons of Indian origin in Uganda today.
Yoseveni lauded the contributions of the Indian community in his country saying they have made their mark in its economic and business landscape.
“You have been able to create employment and expand the tax base of the government,” he said.
Reminding the 10,000-strong gathering of their Indian roots, the Indian Prime Minister said: “You might not have remembered from where you must have come from India, but you have India in your hearts.”
Modi arrived here earlier on Tuesday from Rwanda on the second leg of his five-day, three-nation tour of Africa that will also take him to South Africa.
This is the first Prime Ministerial visit from India to Uganda in over 20 years.
For Modi, this is his second visit to this East African nation after his visit in 2007 as Gujarat Chief Minister.