Terming Africa a priority continent for India, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said the continent has a huge potential of joining collaboration in the exploration of Oil and Gas, especially in Western Africa.
Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), MEA, while addressing a special briefing on the next week’s visit of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu to Gabon, Senegal and Qatar said: “West African countries have lots of natural resources like oil and gas and have not been fully exploited. There is a lot of potentials for our companies to join collaboration with Gabon and Senegal.”
“Since 2014, number of visits from India are 34 and 100 from other side actually characterizes the relationship. The prioritization from our side putting Africa on top of the agenda, clearly with the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Africa is priority continent,” he said.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will visit three nations (Gabon, Senegal and Qatar) from May 30 to June 7.
He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar and three Members of Parliament, Sushil Kumar Modi (Rajya Sabha), Vijay Pal Singh Tomar (Rajya Sabha) and P Raveendranath (Lok Sabha).
Speaking about the visit to Gabon and Senegal, Ravi said: “The most important aspect of the visit is the first-ever high-level visit from India to both Gabon and Senegal. The Vice President is visiting these two countries from May 30. On June 4, he departs from Senegal and goes to Qatar.”
“The visits to Gabon and to Senegal will add momentum to India’s engagement with Africa and emphasise India’s commitment to the African continent,” MEA’s earlier statement read.
During the Gabon visit, Vice President will hold delegation level talks with the Prime Minister of Gabon Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. Vice President will call on the President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba and meet other dignitaries. He will also interact with the business community in Gabon and address the Indian diaspora.
Both India and Gabon are currently serving as non-permanent members of the UNSC. Bilateral trade reached USD 1.12 billion in 2021-22. (ANI)