Deepening cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, maritime security, trade and investment, agriculture and food are the major focus areas for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-day visit to four key countries of African continent starting Thursday. OM is visiting Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya to bring momentum to India’s ties with the continent.
Prime Minister’s visit comes within weeks of President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari travelling to Africa with an aim to strengthen and reinvigorate India’s ties with the nations of the continent. This wold be the PM’s 24th foreign trip since he took charge in 2014, travelling to 38 countries.
Importance of the PM’s visit
Prime Minister’s visit to the African nations comes at time when China is increasing its presence by investing heavily in building infrastructure.
But India’s focus on Africa mainly comes from the short fall in domestic food grains production. Experts say that India needs countries that can produce agri products especially for India and supply on a regular basis.
Countries like Mozambique, Tanzania have shown interest to supply food grains to India during the African nation’s summit held in New Delhi.
India’s current trade with Africa is around USD 75 billion and it has granted a whopping USD 7.4 billion for various developmental and capacity building projects in the past four years. India has implemented nearly 140 projects in 41 African countries during the period.
MoUs in Mozambique
- PM Narendra Modi’s first destination will be Mozambique where he will have bilateral discussions with President Nyusi on July 7.
- Here, PM Modi will sign a MoU to import pulses beginning with 1, 00,000 tonnes this year and extend to 2, 00,000 tonnes by 2020. Under the agreement, India will give logistical support, technology and seeds and pulses will be procured from them through government agencies.
Tracing the Gandhi connection in South Africa
- On his second day PM Modi will reach South Africa and undertake a journey by the historic train which was taken by Mahatma Gandhi to Pietermaritzburg.
- Gandhi was thrown out of the train when he refused to follow the order to move out of a first class compartment in which coolies and non-whites were not allowed to travel. The Prime Minister will take the last 15 kms of the journey to Pietermaritzburg, besides visiting the Pheonix ashram.
- India is eyeing for a deeper engagement with South Africa in defence manufacturing besides close cooperation in areas of coal and mining.
- On July 10, the Prime Minister will hold meetings with Tanzanian President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli.
- PM will sign a MoU with Tanzania to get expert inputs and cooperation on water resources management and development.
- The Prime Minister will address students at the University of Nairobi where he is likely to announce a number of Line of Credits (LoCs).
- Modi will address the Indian community in stadiums in both Nairobi and Johannesburg.