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Vice President Naidu arrives in Botswana on first leg of Africa visit


Press Trust of India Gaborone
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu arrived here Wednesday on the first leg of his three-nation visit to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi, during which he will hold talks with the top leaders of these African countries, meet business groups and interact with the Indian diaspora.
Naidu was welcomed at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport here by Botswana Vice President Slumber Tsogwane and the High Commissioner of India to Botswana, Rajesh Ranjan.
From the airport, the vice president proceeded to the Boipuso Hall, Fairground for the opening ceremony of the Global Expo Botswana 2018. The expo has participation of 25 Indian companies and business houses covering a range of sectors.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that visit highlights the importance India accords to enhancing relations with African countries.
Naidu is accompanied by a high-level delegation which includes Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar, Rajya Sabha MP V Muraleedharan, Lok Sabha MP Kodikunnil Suresh and senior officers of the Union government.
On Thursday, Naidu will hold talks with the Vice President of Botswana. The meeting will be followed by delegation level talks and signing of agreements.
Naidu will also attend a banquet hosted by Tsogwane and later meet Gladys Kokorwe, Speaker of the National Assembly.
He will attend an Indian community reception at the Baisago University Convention Centre on Thursday.
During the six-day Africa visit, Naidu's official engagements include meeting presdents of the countries; holding bilateral meetings with his counterparts and delegation level talks; and interacting with business groups and Indian communities.
In Zimbabwe, Naidu will meet the nation's foreign minister and lay the foundation stone of the Chancery project. He will witness signing of MoUs on mining, information and communication technology and culture.
The vice president, in Malawi, will inaugurate the Business Incubation Centre and India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development and unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi.
From India, there have been 26 outgoing visits to Africa at the level of president, vice president and prime minister in the last four years, a senior official said.

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First Published: Oct 31 2018 | 8:10 PM IST

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