In Uganda, Modi pitches India as a benign alternative to China

Prime News, International (Kampala), July 26:- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on became the first India PM to address the Parliament of Uganda. But his audience was not just the Ugandan government – he addressed Africa as a whole. And in this address, he offered a vision of cooperation that placed India as the only viable alternative to growing Chinese engagement on the continent.

He did not name China even once and did not even refer to it indirectly. But the subtext was clear in the sense that whatever he promised India would or wouldn’t do was at easily understandable contrast to the kinds of behaviour that China has been faulted for as it seeks to expand its footprint across Africa.

For instance, PM Modi said India’s growing role in Africa would be predicated on the priorities of Africans, not Indians. The terms, he said, would be those that African nations would find comfortable. He even assured that Indian projects in Africa would use African labour and not an imported workforce. He also underlined the need for freedom of navigation in the seas, specifically mentioning the eastern Indian Ocean region. Not direct, but the stress was clear – India is not China. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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