16 February 2017 Current Affairs: The Union Cabinet approved the signing of a bilateral Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Rwanda.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 February 2017.
Benefits : The agreement has the potential to spur trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between India and Rwanda.
It will also provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity between both the countries.
The ASA seeks to provide commercial opportunities for the carriers belonging to both the countries.
India-Rwanda Bilateral Relations : Rwanda is a sovereign State in the East African Region. It is also one of the smallest countries on the African mainland.
Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.India-Rwanda relations are marked by cordiality, convergence of views and cooperation on major international issues.
In recent years, the relations are marked by an increasing trend in bilateral trade and investments, greater people to people contact and a deep sense of mutual respect. India is among the few countries in the world which voiced their concerns to alert the world about the possibility of genocide, as early as 1992.
During the genocide of 1994, India contributed immensely to the United Nations Peace Keeping Force. India’s engagement with Rwanda is at three levels viz. at the African Union (AU) level, at the level of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and at the bilateral level.
Indian assistance to Rwanda has mainly guided by the announcements made by India at the India-Africa Forum Summits in 2008, 2011 and 2015.So far, India has extended million of dollars to Rwanda for building infrastructure projects.
Under the Pan-African e-Network project, India has been providing tele-medicine and tele-education services to the citizens of Rwanda since 2009.