Delhi-Dar bonding: Blending energy and business with tourism & strategy

It’s Africa time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Energy, business, developmental assistance, Indian Ocean strategy and tourism promotion melded anew in a new configuration as the Indian leader held wide-ranging talks with Tanzania’s President Jakaya Mrisho Kikewete, the first head of state from the resurgent continent Mr Modi hosted since taking charge in May last year.

The outcomes of the talks in New Delhi, which included the signing of eight MoUs to expand engagements swaddling diverse areas, reflected the Modi government’s emerging Africa policy in a miniature. Expanding its developmental partnership with the East African state, India extended a line of credit for $ 268.35 million for a host of projects, including the extension of a pipeline project.

Reflecting the growing importance of the African continent in India’s energy security calculus, India offered its expertise to Tanzania in development of its emerging natural gas sector.

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From Dar to Delhi: Tanzania President in India, focus on business

With months to go before the third India-Africa Forum Summit, New Delhi is putting its Africa diplomacy into high gear as it rolls out the red carpet for Tanzania’s President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.

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.

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.

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