Home Commentaries & Articles India-Uganda Solidarity amidst Covid-19 Crisis

India-Uganda Solidarity amidst Covid-19 Crisis

India-Uganda Solidarity

India-Uganda Solidarity

India and Africa have had strong social, cultural, and bilateral ties since ancient times. They have been each other’s constant partners and allies and have supported one another through multiple global crises, and this pandemic of Covid-19 is not any different.

The impact and consequences of the pandemic on Africa have been very destructive. Despite having a few cases as compared to Asia, Europe, and America, the ground impact on Africa has been catastrophic. Due to the  lack of health and medical facilities in many African nations, along with the existing Ebola virus threat, Africa has again been devastated by a pandemic. Furthermore, due to global economic slumpand a state of lockdown all over the world, the economic situation of the world order has further deteriorated, and in case of Africa, it is yet another cause of continental downfall and disaster.

A steady surge of Indian investments has made India one of the top investors in Uganda. The recent bilateral interactions and high-level visits between India and Uganda have further solidified and cemented India’s ties with the Ugandan nation.  The friendship and solidarity between India and Uganda are also witnessed in the continued positive interactions between the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Uganda, in the East African region of Africa, was one of the first African Nations to which India promised help and support during the Covid-19 pandemic. The proof of the continued cooperation and friendship between India and Uganda  can be witnessed in this global pandemic crisis.  The assurance was given to Uganda by India when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephonically spoke with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Economic Challenges and health issues were discussed by both the leaders. Assurances were given by Prime Minister Modi to the Ugandan President that India would support not only Uganda but whole of Africa in the times of need during the Covid-19 Pandemic and India would come to the aid of the African nations. Furthermore Prime Minister Modi had extended his appreciation towards the care given to the Indian Diaspora in Uganda and had recalled his past visit to Uganda in July 2018. Indian Diaspora is a key element of India’s friendship with African nations and during these pandemic times the role of Diaspora and its importance towards home and host country is being tested.

India has dispatched medicines like hydroxychloroquine tablets, anti-malaria drugs etc and N-90 masks to multiple African nations, especially to Uganda. India’s medical diplomacy in times of the Covid-19 crisis has garnered goodwill and appreciation for its humanitarian gesture.

Uganda’s High Commissioner to India Grace Akello had in an interview stated that300,000 tablets of Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug to combat COVID-19, were dispatched from India to the East African country and will be delivered toNovartis, a pharmaceutical company in Uganda, for onward transfer to the Ministry of Health.

India already had channels of medical diplomacy with Uganda opened in the past as after Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Uganda in July 2018, the government of India had gifted medicines worth US$ 1.4 million to the Government of Uganda. The Ugandan Government had received eleven containers containing 57 different medicines. The medicines were handed over by Shri Ravi Shankar, High Commissioner of India to Uganda to Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, Uganda, at the National Medical Stores in Entebbe on January 23, 2019, at a ceremony organized by the Ugandan side. The pandemic has further intensified these ties between the two nations and have solidified their friendship and partnership

Medical diplomacy is the key aspects of India’s foreign policy during the pandemic times and is a key foreign policy element for future as well. With the change in the global scenarios and economic crisis, India’s friendship with various African nations have not only solidified but also risen.  Multiple African countries like Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, etc. are the principal benefactors of India’s continued support and aid in Africa. Furthermore despite total travel lockdowns talks and interactions between India and various African nations have increased and are being acknowledged on a global platform.

The Covid-19 have opened up new avenues in India’s partnership with various African nations. Fields like medicine, traditional remedies, Ayurveda, tourism, good education, science and Information technology, food security, telecom, pharmaceuticals etc are the upcoming trends and research avenues for India-Africa partnership and solidarity.

However with the increase in India-Africa ties and solidarity during the pandemic times, there is a massive pressure on the Indian Diaspora due the expectations place upon them by the home and host countries both.

The Indian Diaspora in the East African region especially in Uganda has strong economic control and ties therefore in these chaotic and uncertain times when the global economy is on a downfall and crisis are taking place all over the world, the local governments have high expectations from the Diaspora to prove their importance and loyalty towards the countries of their settlement especially towards providing the economic support in combating the threat of Covid-19. However the expectations are not only from the Indian Diaspora but of the Indian Diaspora itself towards the countries of their settlement, that they should also be included in governmental measure to protect and preserve their own livelihood and benefits from subsidiaries. Furthermore, the Diaspora hope that they should also be given equal amount of importance as the native African population in governmental measures taken to combat Covid-19 threat. There are multiple expectations from and of the Indian Diaspora towards the countries of their settlement and only time can tell how the Diaspora fares, whether the Diaspora sustains their pre- pandemic positions or there might be a shift in the native African population and governments response towards them.


India and Uganda’s friendship today is more solidified than before and is progressing together for a prosperous future for both the nations. Indian Diaspora in Uganda also plays a key role in the predicting the future of India-Uganda friendship. However the current global scenario is uncertain and chaotic therefore it is difficult to analyse the exact trajectory of the future of India’s friendship with Uganda. Furthermore due to economic fluctuations the status of India Diaspora in Uganda is uncertain. Thus only time can tell the status of India Diaspora in Uganda whether they can fulfil the expectations that the locals have of them and their own expectations towards the local government are fulfilled.  India’s ties with Uganda are solidified amidst Covid-19 crisis and currently they are on rise and only time can tell whether they can reach a new height or they fall from the existing scenarios.


Disclaimer: The views expressed are of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of Diplomacy and Beyond Plus. The publication is not liable for the views expressed by authors.


Aggarwal, S., 2020. COVID-19 boosts India-Uganda solidarity. [Blog] India Writes Network, Available at: <https://www.indiawrites.org/diplomacy/uganda-lauds-indias-covid-solidarity-supply-of-medicines/>.

Ajay, D., 2020. India and Africa relations under Coronavirus Crisis (CVC): Challenges and opportunities. Financial Express, [online] Available at: <https://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/india-and-africa-relations-under-coronavirus-crisis-cvc-challenges-and-opportunities/1939465/>.

Ministry of External Affairs, 2020. Gift Of Medicines By Government Of India To Government Of Uganda. [online] Available at: <https://www.mea.gov.in/press-releases.htm?dtl/30967/Gift+of+Medicines+by+Government+of+India+to+Government+of+Uganda>.

Siddiqui, H., 2020. Medical Diplomacy: India extends a helping hand to African nations. Financial Express, [online] Available at: <https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/medical-diplomacy-india-extends-a-helping-hand-to-african-nations/1953804/>.

Twitter: Prime Miner Narender Modi’s Twitter handle, 9 April 2020.