Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who started his four-nation tour of Africa on Thursday, said his visits are aimed at enhancing ties with special focus on maritime security, trade and investment, hydrocarbons and agriculture and food, reported PTI. Modi first landed in Mozambique and will then travel to South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.
In Mozambique, Modi will sign a long-term Memorandum of Understanding to import pulses. The Africa nation will produce Indian varieties of dals such as arhar and urad. According to Times of India, with this MoU, the import of pulses will double from 1 lakh tonne to 2 lakh tonnes by 2020 and the government is hopeful that it will be sufficient to meet India's growing demand for the kitchen staples. The prices of pulses have shot up over the past year, causing the widespread discontent among consumers.
"The MoU will augment domestic availability of pulses in India and thereby stabilise its prices," said a government release. Mozambique said it was ready to meet India's requirement if New Delhi assured buying the entire quantity of pulses grown there.
Describing South Africa as an "important strategic partner, with whom our ties are historical and deep-rooted", Modi tweeted that with this trip, he hopes to increase cooperation and boost cultural linkages.
PTI reported that Modi is scheduled to meet Tanzania President John Magufuli, his Mozambique and Kenyan counterparts Filipe Nyusi and Uhuru Kenyatta, respectively, and South African President Jacob Zuma.
Besides, the prime minister will also interact with the Indian community in these nations and address students at S&T Park, Maluana. Modi will also pay tribute to iconic leader Nelson Mandela and visit Phoenix Settlement and Pietermaritzburg Station, the two places that very closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi's stay in South Africa.
"History is witness to how Mahatma Gandhi's stay in South Africa impacted him and the history of the world. He went to South Africa as a lawyer seeking work and returned to India as a strong voice for humanitarian values, who would go on to shape the history of humankind," said Modi.