Key energy MoUs on cards, PM set for 5-day Africa tour

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi:  Prime Minister, Narendra Modi leaves for UK and Turky, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo

New Delhi: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi leaves for UK and Turky, in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo

Signing crucial energy agreements, expanding maritime security and defence partnerships are on the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five day Africa visit starting July 7.

PM’s visit comes within weeks after President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari travelled to Africa to strengthen and reinvigorate India’s ties.

“The visit of the Prime Minister to the African mainland reflects India’s desire to further strengthen and reinvigorate bilateral ties with our African partners,” said MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

PM Modi will visit Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya with an aim to further deepen India’s engagement with the resource-rich African continent where China has been expanding its influence.

“The visit will provide opportunities to build on close contacts at the highest political level and enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interests,” said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with India Africa Forum Summit delegations' Heads, wearing traditional Indian dresses, at a dinner at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on October 28, 2015. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with India Africa Forum Summit delegations’ Heads, wearing traditional Indian dresses, at a dinner at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on October 28, 2015.
Photo – PTI

Separated by the Indian Ocean, geographical proximity between Africa and the Indian subcontinent has played an important role in the development of the relationship since ancient times.

India’s present trade with Africa is around USD 75 billion and it has granted a whopping USD 7.4 billion for various developmental & capacity building projects.

India has implemented nearly 140 projects in 41 African countries during the period.

India’s ties with South Africa is considered crucial and both countries work closely in various multilateral forums like BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa), tripartite grouping IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), G-20 and BASIC, a bloc of four large countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

PM is also slated to meet Diasporas in Durban, Maputo and Dar-es-Salaam where more than 8,000 members of the Indian Diasporas in South Africa will attend PM’s address. He is also scheduled to address two Indo- African Diasporas in Johannesburg and Kenya.

PM Modi Tour Itinerary

  • Modi will leave for Mozambique on July 7 where he will hold bilateral discussions with President Nyusi to expand existing cooperation.
  • From July 8 to 9, Prime Minister will be in South Africa where he will meet President Jacob Zuma and leaders across the political spectrum.
  • PM will also expect to visit Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Durban during his stay in South-Africa.
  • On July 10, PM will meet the President of Tanzanian, John Pombe Joseph Magufuli  and  hold discussions on a range of areas with an aim to enhance mutual cooperation
  • On the final leg of his trip, Modi will travel to Kenya where he will have bilateral discussions with President Kenyatta.
  • The Prime Minister will also address students in the University of Nairobi during the visit.
  • During his stay in Africa Prime Minister is expected to undertake a short train journey in tracing the route taken by Mahatma Gandhi.

India had recently, organised a four-day-long summit here with African countries in October last year which was attended by representatives of 54 African nations, including heads of state and government of around 40 countries.