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100th anniversary of Gandhi’s return: Govt focus on Africa

india Updated: Oct 02, 2014 00:24 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
Narendra Modi

Plans are in the works for Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting South Africa next year, which marks 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from that country to India to plunge into freedom movement.

Sources said the dates of the visit PM will be decided in due course. The year 2015 will also see the PM reaching out to Africa in a big way with the Africa Forum summit being hosted in New Delhi.

But the government is keen that the year marking the 100th anniversary of Gandhi’s return is celebrated in a unique way to stress on the special boding with African countries as well as Indian Diaspora.

According to sources PM Modi is keen on “taking the India-Africa ties to a new level and the occasion marking 100th anniversary of Gandhi’s return in a befitting manner.”

During his meeting with President Jacob Zuma, on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in July, the Prime Minister had spoken at length about the “unique ties between the two countries, fight against colonialism and the centenary celebrations of Gandhi’s return to India”.

President Zuma has already extended an invitation to Modi to visit South Africa.

Next year will also see India-Africa forum summit. The summit, which was slated for December, got deferred due to the Ebola outbreak. India is expecting all the heads of state or government of African union to summit.