President Kovind to embark on three-nation visit to Africa

ANI | Updated: Apr 06, 2018 00:42 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 5 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind, will embark on a three-nation state visit to the African countries of Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zambia from April 7 to 12, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

The President's visit to Equatorial Guinea and Swaziland would be the first-ever visit by any head of state of India. President Kovind's visit to Zambia is taking place after 29 years.

He will be accompanied by the First Lady Savita Kovind and Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandavia and two Members of Parliament (MPs) respectively.

At the invitation of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the President will pay a state visit to the country from April 7 to 9. He will address the Parliament of Equatorial Guinea on April 8 after meeting his counterpart during the delegation-level talks.

President Obiang will also host an official banquet lunch for President Kovind. In the evening, the latter will also address the Indian community at a reception organised by the Embassy of India.

During the visit to Swaziland, President Kovind will be received by the King of Swaziland, Mswati-III and accorded a ceremonial reception on his arrival to the country on April 9. He would hold delegation-level talks with the Swazi officials.

President Kovind and King Mswati-III will jointly inaugurate the Information Technology Centre located in the Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP). The other elements of the visit include an address by the President at the Swazi Parliament and call on Queen Mother. The King of Swaziland would host an official banquet for President Kovind.

President Kovind would arrive in Lusaka in Zambia on April 10 where he would be received by his Zambian counterpart Edgar Chagwa Lunguand would be accorded a ceremonial welcome.

President Kovind would have delegation-level talks with the Zambian side. His programme includes a meeting with Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, first President of the Republic of Zambia. Also, a state banquet would be hosted in honour of President Kovind, interaction with the Indian community and addressing a business event.

The President's visit to Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zambia would be his third visit to the African continent. The visit would help to further deepen the relations between the three African countries.

Last month, President Kovind undertook a two-nation visit to Madagascar and Mauritius. (ANI)