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President embarks on visit to Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Namibia

Mukherjee is expected to push economic and security content in his talks

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jun 12 2016 1:53PM | Updated Date: Jun 12 2016 1:53PM

President embarks on visit to Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Namibia

 President Pranab Mukherjee embarks on a three-nation tour of Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire and Namibia on Sunday, that is part of India's outreach to Africa to consolidate ties with the continent.

 
Tour to African countries is designed to go well beyond the ceremonies and symbolisms.
 
Mukherjee is expected to push economic and security content in his talks.
 
Adding to the traditional areas like trade and cooperation in the field of science and technology, the President's focus will be on three relatively new contexts -p- security relationship, energy and combat against terrorism.
 
His first stop will be Ghana. He will leave for Ivory Coast on June 14. He moves to Namibia, the third leg of the tour on June 15 and heads for home on June 17.
 
India's outreach to Africa, mostly in the form of development assistance, comes amid China's fast inroads in building infrastructure and investments in the vast mineral-rich continent.
 
The visit will also help cement India's close links with African nations in the context of the support to India's candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations Security Council, and on other multilateral bodies such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
 
Mukherjee has played the firefighter while on state visits. During his visit to China last month, he sought to convince the Chinese leadership why it should support India's NSG membership.
 
The visit also comes in the wake of recent incidents of violence against African nationals, especially in New Delhi, and the President will have an important role to play in assuaging concerns voiced in that regard.
 
Government has moved to assure African nationals of their safety and security in India and Mukherjee also pitched in with counsel. Thousands come from African states to study in India.
 
President's first stop on the tour will be Accra, where he will be received by Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, and will be accorded a traditional Ghanaian welcome. Some agreements are likely to be inked.
 
Pranab will address a joint business forum and the students and faculty of the University of Ghana, besides have an interaction with the Indian community at a reception organised at the Indian high commission.
 
He will also unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi gifted by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. He is likely to visit the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Institute of Excellence, named after the former UN Secretary General.
 
In the second leg of his visit starting June 14, President Mukherjee will arrive in Abidjan, where he will have a meeting with Republic of Cote d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara and also sign a number of agreements.
 
In the last leg of his visit, the President will arrive in the Namibian capital Windhoek on June 15.
 
Discussions will be held on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
 
Uranium supply would be on the agenda as Namibia is the fourth-largest producer of uranium in the world.