New Delhi, July 6: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a tour of Africa on Thursday (July 7) to boost his country's economic prospects in a continent where rival Asian power China has been dominating for long. It will be Modi's second visit to Africa. He had visited Seychelles and Mauritius in between March 10-13 in 2015.
New Delhi has been working on improving ties with African countries as it eyes to get a bigger share of the continents' vast natural resources. It also hosted a major summit including the African heads of states in New Delhi towards the end of October last year. [PM Modi's 6-nation visit in May & June: A brief look]
Modi will visit Mozambique first; sign pact to import pulses
Modi will first travel to Mozambique and then to South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. He will sign a pact with Mozambique to import pulses and prevention of drug trafficking. He will also see India entering an agreement with Tanzania for promotion of India's traditional systems of medicine and homoeopathy. [Mozamibique has an interesting flag]
Modi's visit to South Africa will be particularly interesting for not only India is the sixth largest trading partner of the latter but also because it is a vocal supporter of the need to reform the UN Security Council, something which is an tune with India's bid for a membership of the UN body.
Though reports said that South Africa was against India's bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said the former was supportive of India in the NSG. Both India and South Africa are members of the BRICS group.
Experts said the PM's visit to Africa will not just be about politics but also encompassing other areas like economic and strategic.
India's economic engagement with Africa is much lesser compared to that of China whose trade with the continent crossed $200 billion in 2015.