PM visit to cement ties with Africa

Singh, who will first head for Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union (AU), for the Second Africa-India Forum Summit to be attended by 15 African countries, is also expected to make a strong pitch for UN reforms.

Like India, Africa, too, feels the adverse impact of terrorism and piracy is a phenomenon that affects both Africa and India and the leaders will discuss “ways and means of reducing and eliminating it,” Vivek Katju, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, said ahead of the visit. New Delhi has voiced its serious concerns over the threats posed by Somali pirates since about 11 per cent of seafarers engaged by international shipping companies are Indian nationals, some of whom have been taken hostage.

There have been over 200 attacks, including about 70 successful hijackings, and ransoms believed to exceed $50 million have been paid to pirates for securing the release of hostages and ships. Singh will co-chair the summit with Equatorial Guinea President  Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in his current capacity as AU chairperson.

The leaders will discuss significant aspects of the India-Africa partnership with the objective of enhancing and widening its ambit for mutual benefit.

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