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Mission Africa: President Kovind Chooses Dijibouti For His First Official Visit

However there have been 16 visits so far from Indian head of states PM, Presidents, Vice Presidents to the continent of Africa so far in last three years

Photo Credit : PTI,

Amidst the growing importance of African nations for India, President Ram Nath Kovind has chosen the countries his first visit strategically.

From October 3-6, the President will visit Dijibouti and Ethiopia. This will be his first visit post assuming the office in July.

The visit is at the invitation of the President of Djibouti H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh. This would also be the first ever visit at the level of Head of State or Government from India to the Republic of Djibouti since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"Africa is chosen as the first destination of president's overseas visit an index of the importance attached to the African continent by the current government," Neena Malhotra, joint secretary in charge of East and South Africa in the Indian foreign ministry told reporters.  

Kovind who left for the country at noon today will arrive in Dijibouti at 3:30 PM local time. He will pay tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Nelson Mandela Marg at 7:00 PM local time.

However there have been 16 visits so far from Indian head of states PM, Presidents, Vice Presidents to the continent of Africa so far in last three years.

India- Dijibouti Relations

India and Dijibouti enjoy warm and cordial relationships since inception. The relationship was reinvigorated post the President's visit to India in 2013.

Indian ships make regular calls at the Port of Djibouti on transit and for a joint exercise with the US and French navies. Djibouti remains hospitable to the visits of Indian ships. Indian ships, INS Shardul, INS Tir and the Indian Coast Guard ship, CG Veera, INS Gomati, INS Trishul, INS Aditya and INS Mumbai, Sindhurakshak and INS Trikand called on the port of Djibouti in 2012 and 2013.

Bilateral Trade and Agreements 
The government of India has extended four Lines of Credit (LOC) aggregating nearly US $ 50 million to Djibouti for financing the Ali Sabieh Cement Project being constructed at Ali Sabieh, the second largest city of Djibouti, about 150 km from Djibouti. In the area of rural electrification, IRCON has conducted a feasibility study for rehabilitation works of rural electrification in Djibouti.

Djibouti has been keen to develop economic and development partnership with India especially in the areas of education, health, information technology, agriculture, small-scale industries, portable electricity generation, fisheries and water resource development.
Bilateral trade is on the increase and is in India's favour. Trade in 2012-13, stood at $417.30 million (India's exports US $ 411.86 Million and India's imports $5.44 million).

Most of the trade with Djibouti actually serve the growing market in Ethiopia. The main items which have shown an increase in Indian exports are iron & steel products, paper and plastic products, machinery metals, yarns & fabrics, food items and drugs & pharmaceuticals.

Incidentally, the President in his second leg of the visit will visit Ethiopia.

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Ramnath Kovind Mission Africa Dijibouti

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