The Tanzanian leader, accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers and senior officials, will be in India on a five-day visit starting June 17.
In his interactions with Mr Kikwete, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to focus on ramping up trade and investment and upscaling developmental cooperation. Mr Modi is also expected to brief the Tanzanian leader on India’s preparations for the third India-Africa Forum Summit, which will be bigger and grander than the previous two summits. The IAFS-III will be held from October 26-30, and promises to be a milestone as this is the first time New Delhi has invited leaders from all 54 African countries for the summit.
Mr Kikwete had earlier visited India in 2008 as the Chairperson of the African Union on the occasion of the first India-Africa Forum Summit.
Focus on Business
The economic impulse has been predominant in India-Tanzania interactions that hark back centuries ago to the time when Indian traders from Gujarat sailed to Zanzibar for trade in spices and other commodities.
India-Tanzania bilateral trade is already robust at $4 billion. The potential is huge, with the East African economy performing well on key economic indices.
It’s fitting, therefore, that the Tanzanian leader comes to India, with a strong business delegation. The First Trade Symposium and Investments between Tanzania and India will be held at a luxury hotel in New Delhi on June 18. One can expect business collaborations to straddle diverse sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, energy, information communication technology (ICT), health, education, industry and tourism. About 400 business leaders from the two nations are expected to attend the business meeting.
Knowledge partnership forms the heart of the evolving India-Tanzania relationship. India has set up India-Tanzania Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology and the Pan African e-Network Project, which brings tele-medicine and tele-education to Tanzanians.
Bolstering infrastructure through soft loans has been the overriding focus of India’s diplomatic outreach to the East African nation. The Indian government extended a Line of Credit (LOC) of US$ 40 million for supply of tractors and agricultural equipment in June 2009 and another LOC of US$ 36.56 million for supply of Ashok Leyland trucks to Tanzania. During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Tanzania in 2011, India unveiled another LOC of US$ 178.125 million for the development of water supply projects.
The 50,000-strong Indian community forms an enduring bridge between the two countries.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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