Sun, May 28, 2017 | updated 04:05 PM IST

PM kicks off four-nation tour to reinvigorate bilateral ties with partners in Africa

Updated: Jul 07, 2016 00:22 IST      
PM kicks off four-nation tour to reinvigorate bilateral ties with partners in Africa

New Delhi, July 7 (ANI): Aiming to further strengthen and reinvigorate bilateral ties with partners in Africa that were renewed at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in October last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a four-nation tour of the African continent 15 minutes past midnight. His first stop will be Mozambique capital Maputo.

During his five-day four-nation tour to Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, energy, food security, trade, maritime cooperation and diaspora interactions will high on the Prime Minister's agenda.

The Prime Minister is set to touch down at Maputo International Airport early on Thursday morning, and will be the first Indian head of government to visit Mozambique after 34 years. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi was the last to visit that country in 1982.

Prime Minister Modi will be given a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential Office at 9.30 a.m (.Mozambique time), after which, he will hold a "restricted meeting" with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi. This will be followed by delegation-level talks, a signing of agreements and an issue of a joint statement.

The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday given its approval for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Mozambique on drug demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals and related matters. The MoU is aimed at enhancing mutual cooperation between the two countries in combating illicit trafficking in narcotics, psychotropic substances and their precursors through an exchange of information, expertise and capacity building.

The cabinet also approved a long-term contract by signing an MoU with Mozambique for the import of pulses either through the private channels, or, via Government-to-Government (G2G) sales through state agencies nominated by both nations.

Besides, Mozambique is the third largest exporter of natural gas after Qatar and Australia.

Thereafter, Prime Minister Modi will attend a state banquet hosted by President Nyusi in the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Office.

About 2.10 p.m., the Prime Minister will visit the National Assembly, where he will receive a ceremonial welcome and will be introduced to the members, followed by a meeting with President of the National Assembly Veronica Macamo and signing of visitor's book.

Prime Minister Modi will also visit the Maluana Science and Technology Park and the Centre for Innovation and Technological Development (CITD), where he will interacts with students.

Before departing for South African capital city of Pretoria at 6.20 p.m., the Prime Minister will interact with Indian Diaspora.

"On Thursday, 7th July I will be in Mozambique. The aim of my visit is to increase cooperation and boost cultural linkages. I will meet President Filipe Nyusi and hold extensive talks with him. My other programmes include a meeting with Ms. Veronica Macamo, the President of the National Assembly, and a visit to the S&T Park, Maluana, where I will interact with students. I will also interact with the Indian community briefly," said Prime Minister Modi in a statement issued here.

MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup had earlier last week said "From 8th to 9th July in South Africa, the Prime Minister will have meetings with President Jacob Zuma and other senior leaders across the political spectrum to further enhance our historical relations with South Africa. With South Africa we cooperate and work closely also in multi-lateral fora like BRICS, IBSA, G20 and BASIC."

The Prime Minister is also expected to visit Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Durban during the visit.

Pietermaritzburg is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of the train compartment.

The Prime Minister will have meetings with President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli in Tanzania on July10 to further enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interest.

The Prime Minister will be in Kenya the next day where he will have bilateral discussions with President Kenyatta.

Prime Minister Modi will also address students in the University of Nairobi during the visit.

"The visit of the Prime Minister will provide opportunities to build on close contacts at the highest political level and enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interest," Swarup added.

"This is the third segment of high-level visits that was planned to Africa as a follow up to IAFS. The first of course was of the Vice President from May 30 to June 5 to Morocco and Tunisia, followed by our own President going to Ghana Ivory Coast and Namibia from June 12-18. So, in the first half of this year, this is the third segment, which covers four countries in five days," said Amar Sinha, Secretary, Economic Relations, MEA, at a media briefing on Monday.

Underlining the importance of the first visit by Prime Minister Modi to the African mainland, Sinha said, "All these four countries, if you look at the map, are our maritime neighbours across the Indian Ocean. These are all our gateways to the (African) mainland and a number of landlocked countries which are also our important partners. So, basically the Indian traders also rely on ports in these countries whether in Mombasa, Beira or further down in South Africa."

Talking about the Prime Minister's interaction with the Indian diaspora, he said: "All these three countries, of course varying degrees, but we have sizable diaspora: Kenya 80,000, Tanzania 50,000, Mozambique 20,000 and of course South Africa has more than a million. The Prime Minister will be meeting the diaspora in all the four countries, but both in Johannesburg and Kenya, he will be addressing them in a large format, because the response was so overwhelming that we had over 10,000-15,000 registrations in a day by people who wanted to come to listen to him."

"Besides these, the maritime dimension also dictates the choices of these countries, which are very-very important, as they are all members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). So, we are interested in blue economy and maritime security as well," he added.

Sinha further said these countries are also members of International Solar Alliance, which is our initiative. "So we are looking at consolidating the gains that we have made at the IAFS," he added.

Noting this is the first visit by the Prime Minister to the African mainland, Sinha said, "All these visits are happening after a long-long gap: Mozambique after 34 years, where Mrs (Indira) Gandhi was the last to visit; Kenya after 35 years; and South Africa after 10 years. Tanzania was visited by former prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2011." (ANI)

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Tearing into Yogi Adityanath over the Kushinagar incident where Dalits were asked to shower before meeting him, the Congress today demanded an unconditional apology from the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and also demanded a case be registered against the officials and the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in regard to the same.

Full Story >>

J-K: Civilian killed in Pak firing in Kupwara sector

Updated: May 28, 2017 15:11 IST     

Kupwara (Jammu and Kashmir), May 28 (ANI): Pakistan Army today shot dead a civilian and injured another in Keran sector of Kupwara district near Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): With the extended version of the Delhi Metro's violet line, the Heritage Line, being inaugurated today, the authorities have facilitated the installation of entry and exit gates that can be operated via smartphone.

Full Story >>

Pro-ISIS slogans graffiti allegedly seen in Delhi University

Updated: May 28, 2017 15:01 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) Secretary, Ankit Sangwan on Sunday filed a complaint in the North Campus Police Station after Pro-ISIS slogans were allegedly seen in Delhi University' Delhi School of Economics.

Full Story >>

Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 28 (ANI): A rape-accused man who was bailed from his prison term for his dastardly crime, went straight to his victim's house after his release and threatened her with dire consequences.

Full Story >>

CBSE topper Raksha Gopal's marks card is a jaw-dropper!

Updated: May 28, 2017 14:20 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): With the nation effusive after learning of Raksha Gopal, the topper of the Central Board of Secondary Education's (CBSE) Secondary School examination (Class 12), her marks card is deemed to be a reflection of the perseverance she showed in emerging successful with flying colours.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated all the victorious students who successfully passed in the Senior Secondary Examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): With Pakistan branding the killing of Hizbul commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat as 'extra judicial', Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh today asserted that regardless of what the hostile neighbor says, India's approach towards the Valley remains clear and consistent.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): A female national-level shooter displayed exemplary bravery as she used her skilled to save her relative's life from the clutches of kidnapper.

Full Story >>

Wanted KLO militants arrested in Tripura

Updated: May 28, 2017 13:44 IST     

Gandacherra (Tripura) [India], May 28 (ANI): Three Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) militants of Assam, who entered India from Bangladesh, have been arrested in the bordering Gandhachera subdivision of Tripura.

Full Story >>

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 28 (ANI): Amid the prevailing unrest in the Kashmir Valley, the Common Entrance Written Examination for the selection of Indian Army Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks was successfully held in Srinagar and Pattan on Sunday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): With the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre completing three years of governance, the initiatives implemented and overall performance have come under the scanner several times, which, according to the former, is said to be a key to strengthening democracy.

Full Story >>

With onset of Ramazan, Aurangabad sees surge in sale of dates

Updated: May 28, 2017 12:58 IST     

Aurangabad (Maharashtra) [India], May 28 (ANI): The month of Ramazan has begun and a vast majority of Muslim population will be fasting for a large number of days.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised the Versova Resident Volunteers and team of Afroz Shah, the lawyer from Bombay High Court, who is leading the campaign for cleaning the beach, which was earlier considered as the dirtiest beach in the city.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Soon after results of the Senior Secondary Examination (Class 12) conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) were announced, Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar on Sunday congratulated the candidates for their successful results, lauding them for their hard work and determination to achieve their goal.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): After topping this year's CBSE Class XII results, Raksha Gopal, a student of Amity International School has shared that it was not her aim to be a topper, but to secure good marks.

Full Story >>

Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi strongly bats for nature conservation

Updated: May 28, 2017 12:11 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the people of the nation to connect with nature, saying that the process connects us with ourselves.

Full Story >>

Yoga is India's gift to the world: PM Modi

Updated: May 28, 2017 12:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Urging the nation to make Yoga an essential part of their lives to remain stress free, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that Yoga is the only thing that is uniting the world.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Remembering freedom fighter Veer Savarkar on his birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called on the nation especially the youth to make a trip to the cellular jails, also called 'kaala paani' in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): From greeting the nation on the holy occasion of Ramazan, to reminding everyone about the upcoming International Yoga Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to the citizens in the 32nd edition of his Mann Ki Baat address on a range of issues.

Full Story >>