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Updated: January 4, 2010 19:12 IST

Ansari to leave for tri-nation tour to Africa tomorrow

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Inking of a pact to enhance funding of a hydropower project and ways to strengthen trade ties with the African countries will be the highlights of the week-long visit of Vice President Hamid Ansari to tri-nation tour of Zambia, Botswana and Malawi starting on Tuesday.

Besides the bilateral issues, a joint programme of action on promoting trade relations with the African region, which is being finalised with the African Union Commission, is also expected to figure predominantly in the talks between Mr. Ansari and his counterparts in these countries.

Briefing the reporters on the Vice President’s visit, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Vivek Katju said “an agreement for a Line of Credit (LoC) of $ 50 million for the Itezhi Tezhi Hydropower Project in Zambia is expected to be signed in the capital Lusaka“.

The visit will take Mr. Ansari first to Zambia and then to Malawi and Botswana. This is first visit of any Indian dignitary to Malawi.

Mr. Katju also said a variety of agreements including in sectors like agriculture, health and power among other fields are expected to be signed during this high level Indian visit to these countries.

Describing India’s relation with African countries as “multi-faceted” and “mutually-beneficial”, he said the partnership was based on “shared values and shared struggles for human dignity and worth”.

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