Modi to visit four African nations next month to boost economic ties

  • Shishir Gupta
  • Updated: Jun 12, 2016 08:09 IST

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit four African nations next month to shore up economic ties, firm up maritime security and counter balance China’ s growing influence in the resource-rich continent.

Government sources said Mo di is likely to visit Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya from July 6 to 10. “After travelling to key countries in Europe, America and Asia, the PM is now focused on Africa,” said a senior official.

Last year at the third India-Africa summit, India announced a credit line of $10 billion to the continent for the next five years. “The PM wants to use this opportunity to review how many of the announced Indian projects in Africa have been implemented,” said the official.

India has long-term security ties with Mozambique and New Delhi provided coastal security when the African nation held a summit. State-owned ONGC Videsh Limited and public coal firms are also investing in the country. South Africa is India’s partner in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South-Africa) grouping. New Delhi also needs to be in close touch with the African country because it is a member of the influential Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which India hopes to gain entry into soon. South Africa is also an active partner in the Vibrant Gujarat summit.

India plans to extend developmental support to Tanzania and Kenya for building road and port infrastructure and discuss ways to combat Islamic terrorism with the rise of Al Shahab jihadist group.

India is also looking for a maritime security tie-up with the two countries to fight a growing pirate menace off the coast of Africa. Besides, the Indian diaspora is present in large numbers in these nations. India needs Africa for its own growth with China increasing its footprint in the continent by utilizing natural resources through joint venture sand private investment.

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