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Updated: January 12, 2010 11:06 IST

Ansari returns from tri-nation African tour

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Vice President Hamid Ansari
Vice President Hamid Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday returned home from a week-long tri-nation tour of Africa during which India signed several pacts with Zambia, Malawi and Botswana to promote agriculture, commerce and infrastructure cooperation.

On his return here, Mr. Ansari described the visit as “very useful and successful.”

The delegation led by Mr. Ansari, started its tour from Zambia on January 5, following which they visited Malawi and Botswana.

Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Vivek Katju said the visit has thrown up many ideas and opportunities which would be worked upon in the coming months to concretise the relationship.

India extended a liberal credit line of $130 million to Zambia, including a $50 million assistance for a key hydropower project, as the two countries agreed to “reinvigorate and re-energise” their relationship.

Malawi said it was keen to go for joint exploration of its uranium reserves with India as part of its efforts to attain energy security even as it inked three pacts with India in fields like agriculture and small enterprises.

India also extended a $20 million Line of Credit and grant of $8 million to Botswana for development of its social and infrastructure sectors.

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