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President Mukherjee wraps up three-nation tour to Africa, returns today


Windhoek (Namibia): Concluding his about week-long three-nation successful visits to Africa, President Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to land in New Delhi around 12.40 p.m. on Saturday.

The President, along with his delegation, left Namibia at 9.35 p.m. on Friday.

During his three-nation tour to Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia, President Mukherjee witnessed India concluding many important Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements with the African nations. He also held discussions on various important issues of mutual interests with his counterparts.

During his visits the Indian president held dialogue on various issues including business, economy, agriculture, technology, mining, etc.

During the final leg of his visit, President Mukherjee and his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob signed two MoUs on June 16.

The agreements were signed after a dialogue that included an MoU on capacity building for civil servants of Namibia and the other on setting up of centre of excellence in ICT.

The signing of agreements was followed by delegation-level talks inWindhoek.

The issue of Uranium supply was one of the prominent features of the talks, and Namibia committed to honour the deal signed with India in 2009 to supply Uranium for civil use.

The two countries also discussed ways to further enhance co-operation in the mining and exploration of other minerals, including zinc and marble.

On the Final day of his tour, President Mukherjee paid homage to Namibia’s martyrs at The Heroes’ Acre, the official war memorial of the country.

On June 15, the Indian President, who reached Cote D Ivoire, witnessed the two countries inking an agreement to re-establish the headquarters of the Exim Bank in Abidjan after a gap of nearly two decades.

The agreement was inked in presence of President Mukherjee and his Cote D Ivoire counterpart Alassane Ouattara.

President Mukherjee also raised the issue of the need for reforming the United Nations and in particular the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), stating that 70 years are just too long a period for reforms not to take place within the UN, especially when global geopolitics has undergone massive change.

To this, the Cote D Ivoire President said the African Union is engaged in developing a consensus on the issue of the UN reforms.

A mention was also made about many other ongoing projects set up with India’s assistance such as a Mahatma Gandhi Information Technology and Bio-Tech Park located 40 kilometers from Abidjan. Another was the proposed extension of a Line of Credit for electricity grid connectivity between Mali and Cote D Ivoire.

Security and the issue of terrorism also featured during the bilateral talks between the two sides, with President Mukherjee lauding the security apparatus in place in Cote D Ivoire.

President Mukherjee was conferred the Cote D Ivoire’s National Grand Croix award, which is a singularly huge first time honour for an Indian Head of State.

The Ivorian delegation also made a request to the Indian side to extend support for its application for non-permanent membership of the UNSC, and India has promised to look into it.

Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Ghana was the first ever visit to the country by the head of the Indian state and comes as a part of the Government’s efforts to deepen ties with the African countries

India and Ghana inked an agreement and two MoUs. The agreement was on exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passports, while the MOUs were for the establishment of a joint commission to give a fillip to existing bilateral trade and commercial ties and one on facilitating academic interaction between the foreign service institutions of both countries.

A deal was also signed between President Mukherjee and his Ghanaian counterpart John Dramani Mahama for the construction of a railway line from the Port of Tema to Akasombo with a sum of USD 400 million Line of Credit by EXIM Bank.

Also there were talks about further cooperation in the field of ITEC (raise the scholarships from 250 to 300 and ICCR scholarships from 20 to 40).

Talks on the civil nuclear cooperation were also conducted. (ANI)

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