Prime Minister Narendra Modi Leaves For South Africa

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who started his four-nation tour of Africa on Thursday, said his visits are aimed at enhancing ties with special focus on maritime security, trade and investment, hydrocarbons and agriculture and food, reported PTI.

"The momentum generated during the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2015 (New Delhi) is continuing", the statement added.

Noting that the partnership between India and Mozambique is "driven by convergence of capacities and interest", he said, "Mozambique's strengths are also the areas of India's need".

Pankaj K. Jha, research director at the Indian Council of World Affairs, said Modi's visit demonstrates that Africa is a valued partner to India.

Out of earshot of the government officials and the media, Modi will most likely lobby President Jacob Zuma to support India's bid for full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a plea he has made to heads of state around the world in his recent nonstop foreign travel.

By undertaking a decisive reshuffle of his Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi has conveyed a strong resolve to put a premium on performance of his colleagues to improve quality of governance and make difference in the lives of common people, ASSOCHAM said today.

He said he had chosen this country as his first stopover in the four-nation tour that will also include South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, as Nyusi had also made India his first stopover during his Asian tour past year.

In the evening, PM Modi will visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation and will later address an Indian community programme.

Apart from Mozambique and South Africa, he will also visit Tanzania and Kenya during his African sojourn.

Mozambique accounts for a quarter of India's investment in Africa.

However, despite repeated attempts to strengthen the relationship between these two countries, it has suffered several backlashes due to the racism that the African community, ranging from students to dignitaries, faces on the Indian subcontinent.

His engagements in South Africa will span across Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Pietermaritzburg on Friday and Saturday.

Narenda Modi has also compared his visits to tracing Mahatma Gandhi's footsteps in Africa, in order to rebuild the relations with these nations.

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". "In an effort to boost our economic ties, I will speak at the India-South Africa business meet". No Indian airline has direct connections with Africa. "I bring with me the best wishes of 1.25 billion Indians who share the democratic spirit with the people of Mozambique".

He will then interact with Indian Diaspora before departing for South African capital city of Pretoria.

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