While the South African Indian High Commission and SA Welcomes Modi organizing committee continue to not confirm itinerary for visiting Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. News out of New Delhi confirm details of his trip to the African continent.
Narendra Modi will embark on a journey to four African nations from July 7-11. He will be visiting Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya in five days as his government steps up engagement with the continent with backto-back visits, starting with Vice President, then President and now PM, during the past one month.
While the PM’s trip to Mozambique may be a day-long (July 7), Modi has a packed schedule in Africa’s biggest economy – South Africa (July 8-9) where he will cross-cross cities. His South Africa leg of the trip will be followed by visit to Tanzania (July 10) and end in Kenya (July 11). Such schedules are now common in Modi’s foreign trips.
Highlight of Modi’s visit will be a short train journey in South Africa tracing the route taken by Mahatma Gandhi and two diaspora addresses in Johannesburg and Kenya besides energy deals, expanding maritime security and defence partnerships, sources hinted. Incidentally, all these four countries that the PM plans to visit have coasts that opens up to the Indian Ocean. Modi will also meet the diaspora in Durban, Maputo (Mozambique capital) and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzanian capital). Over 8,000 members of the Indian diaspora in South Africa have registered for the meet that Modi will address in Johannesburg and the numbers are expected to cross 10,000.
Some South African ministers might also be present on the occasion. Kenya will also witness an event where Modi will address members of the diaspora. While Kenya is home to 80,000 people of Indian origin, Tanzania has about 50,000 people of Indian origin. The South African Indian origin community numbers around 1.5 million and constitutes about 3% of South Africa’s population. Mozambique has relatively smaller number of Indian origin people. All the four countries are traditional partners of India.
Sources: TOI, Consular Services