After a brief break, diaspora engagements will be back with a bang in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign trip from next month.
In his first visit to the continent as PM, Modi will visit Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya from July 6 to 10. The diaspora gatherings are being planned in both South Africa and Kenya. Modi will address the diaspora in Johannesburg on July 8 and Kenyan capital Nairobi on July 10.
“These are important events aimed at reconnecting with the diaspora in Africa to their motherland,” Vijay Chauthaiwale, who heads BJP’s foreign affairs department said.
The two events are expected to be attended by over 10,000 people.
“Connecting with the diaspora in Africa is something unique and that rarely happens with the importance it deserves,” Chauthaiwale said.
The major part of the Indian community came to South Africa from 1860 onwards to serve as field hands and mill operatives in the sugar and other agricultural plantations of Natal, which was then a British colony. The second wave of Indians came after 1880. They were called “passenger Indians” as they paid their fares as passengers on board a steamship bound for South Africa.
The South African Indian origin community constitutes about 3% of South Africa’s total population.
South Africans of Indian origin are well-represented in the government, business, media, legal and other professions.
The year 2014 marked 100 years of Gandhi’s final departure to India from South Africa; he reached India on 9th Jan 1915.
The trade links between India and East Africa go back several centuries. But most of the recent migration from India to Kenya and the region took place in the 19th and early 20th centuries via Lamu, Zanzibar and Mombasa.