Ahead of his departure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his four-nation tour of African countries is aimed at enhancing ties with that continent, particularly in the economic sphere and people-to- people contacts.
Modi will begin his five-day tour with Mozambique and then travel to South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.
Focus of the visit will be on deepening cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, maritime security, trade and investment, agriculture and food.
“My Africa tour, aimed at enhancing ties between India & Africa will begin from Mozambique in a brief but key visit,” he tweeted.
“My programmes in South Africa will span across Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban & Pietermaritzburg,” he added.
“In Tanzania I will hold talks with President Dr. John Magufuli, meet ‘Solar Mamas’ & interact with Indian community,” Modi added.
With regard to his visit to Kenya in the last leg of his visit, he tweeted, “Talks with President @UKenyatta, deliberations on economic & people-to-people ties will be focus of my Kenya visit.”
Giving details in Facebook posts, the Prime Minister said the aim of his visit to Mozambique is to increase cooperation and boost cultural linkages.
“I will meet President Filipe Nyusi and hold extensive talks with him,” he said.
Other programmes include a meeting with Veronica Macamo, the President of the National Assembly and a visit to the S&T Park, Maluana, where he will interact with students. He will also interact with the Indian community briefly.
Tomorrow evening, Modi will travel to Pretoria in South Africa, a country he described as an “important strategic partner, with whom our ties are historical and deep-rooted.”
He said, “History is witness to how Mahatma Gandhi’s stay in South Africa impacted him and the history of the world. He went to South Africa as a lawyer seeking work and returned to India as a strong voice for humanitarian values, who would go on to shape the history of humankind,” Modi said.
“I will have the honour to visit Phoenix Settlement and Pietermaritzburg Station, two places very closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi’s stay in South Africa.
“A visit to South Africa is incomplete without remembering the beloved Madiba (Nelson Mandela). I will also be honoured to visit the Constitutional Hill and Nelson Mandela Foundation where I would pay my tributes to an icon of human history, who made his country and the world a much better place,” he said.
During his South Africa visit, he will meet President Jacob Zuma as also Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President.
“In an effort to boost our economic ties, I will speak at the India-South Africa business meet,” he said.
Other programmes of the Prime Minister in Durban include a meeting with the Alumni Network and a reception hosted by the Mayor.
“South Africa is home to a vibrant Indian community, that has made South Africa their home for years. I will interact with the Indian community a programme in Johannesburg on 8th July,” the Prime Minister said and invited ideas and inputs for his speech through the ‘Narendra Modi Mobile App.’
On July 10, he will be in Tanzania for a “brief but crucial visit” to give an impetus to ties with Tanzania, a valued friend in Africa, Modi said.
“There will be extensive talks with President Dr. John Magufuli where we will chalk out the road ahead for bettering India-Tanzania relations in a wide range of areas,” he said.
He said he will also be meeting ‘Solar Mamas’, a group of rural women solar engineers from Africa who have been trained under GOI-supported programmes to fabricate, install, use, repair and maintain solar lanterns and household solar lighting systems in their villages.
He will interact with the Indian community as well. Modi will then visit Kenya on the evening of July 10.
“India-Kenya ties have stood the test of time. Both our nations have had very strong people-to-people ties and both nations have successfully fought colonialism in the previous century,” the Prime Minister said.
“My deliberations with President Uhuru Kenyatta will revolve around how India and Kenya can grow their bilateral cooperation. I envision better trade, commercial and cultural exchanges between India and Kenya. The potential is immense and together we seek to harness it,” he said.
In Nairobi, Modi will offer floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, who is widely revered in Kenya. He will also pay tributes to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya and a towering political figure of Africa.
“The meeting of the India-Kenya business forum will be an important forum to elaborate more on the economic aspect of our relationship with Kenya,” he said.
“A programme that I am keenly looking forward to join is an interaction with students at the Nairobi University,” he said.
“In order to deepen ties with the diaspora, I will address a community programme on 10th July. There is also a meeting with Bharatwallah Alumni Association during the visit.
Another programme is the handing over of ambulances and a model of Bhabhatron,” he said.