India’s outreach to Africa: Prez heads to Ivory Coast

RSTV Bureau
Accra:  President  Pranab Mukherjee looks on as MoS for PMO, Jitendra Singh meeting with John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana at Flagstaff House in Accra, Ghana on Sunday. PTI Photo

Accra: President Pranab Mukherjee looks on as MoS for PMO, Jitendra Singh meeting with John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana at Flagstaff House in Accra, Ghana on Sunday. PTI Photo

President Pranab Mukherjee will head to Ivory Coast from Ghana as part of his three-nation tour on Africa outreach. Wrapping up his visit in Ghana, President Mukherjee signed bilateral agreements to strengthen co-operation in varied fields.

India and Ghana signed three MoUs. These include the waiver of visa for diplomatic and official passports, establishment of a joint commission to periodically monitor various aspects of multidimensional relationship, and helping in training of Ghanaian Foreign services.

President Mukherjee and his Ghanaian counterpart John Dramani Mahama discussed issues of bilateral, regional and multilateral relevance to the two countries. Ghana has sought civil nuclear cooperation with India.

During his talks with President Mahama, President Mukherjee said both India and Ghana have agreed to take the bilateral trade to USD five billion by 2020.

President Pranab Mukherjee also addressed the India-Ghana Business Forum meeting where he made a strong pitch for Indian private sector investment in Ghana, saying economic cooperation between the two countries should move beyond Government funded projects. The president further said more emphasis should be given to small and medium industries as they generate employment.

“I am glad that it has been organised that our businessmen should meet more frequently… Particular emphasis should be given. I do feel small and medium industries which have the immense potentiality of generating employment and we have been benefitted” said President Mukherjee.

Earlier, John Dramani Mahama, hosted a banquet in President Mukherjee’s honour. In his address at the banquet, President called for well-represented global governance structures.
President Mukherjee also addressed the students of Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research in the University of Ghana.

“It is a serious anomaly that India, home to every sixth citizen of the world and Africa, a vibrant hub of global economy, still remain out of the United Nations Security Council,” said President Mukherjee.

“We are asking for radical reforms in the international architecture, in the administrative structures in the financial architectures World Bank IMF, WTI… United Nations’ most important security council,” said the President in his address at the University.

“Can you expect that these institutions with archaic system of decision making can solve the problems of the world today,” he questioned.

In the second leg of his tour, President Mukherjee will head to Ivory Coast. This is the maiden visit of any Indian President to Ghana and Ivory Coast.

Close on the heels of President Mukherjee’s maiden visit to these three African nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to visit a few countries of the continent soon as part of India’s outreach to Africa.

“My first visit as President of India to three African countries is not accidental…Very recently, just a few days before Vice President Hamid Ansari visited Tunisia and Morocco. I am visiting these three countries and shortly Prime Minister is also going to undertake visits to four-five African countries to give a message that ‘Africa, we stand by you’,” said the President in his address to the Indian community in Ghana.

The President also urged the Indian community to join come of PM Modi’s pet schemes like ‘Digital India’, ‘Startup India, Stand up India’, ‘Clean India Mission’, ‘Smart Cities’ and so on.

(With inputs from PTI)