PM leaves for Nigeria, South Africa

PM leaves for Nigeria, South Africa

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 14 October left for a two-nation tour of Nigeria and South Africa to “re-invigorate" India’s ties with the African continent and discuss ways to strengthen South-South cooperation.

In South Africa, he will attend the second India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit that will seek to come up with some concrete proposals to strengthen the trilateral cooperation.

Before embarking on the five-day visit, Singh said his journey to Nigeria signifies India’s desire to “re-invigorate its ties with not only our friend and brother" Nigeria but the entire African continent.

“As developing countries with a similar historic experience, we face common challenges of nation building," he said in a pre-departure statement here.

Noting that India’s ties with Nigeria are “historic and broad-ranging", the Prime Minister said the relationship is “marked by convergence of interests and reflects our mutual commitment to South-South cooperation."

Highlighting the importance of his visit to Nigeria, he said the country plays a leadership role in West Africa and within the 53-nation African Union, besides being an active member of Commonwealth, NAM, G-77 and the UN.

“There is much that India and Africa have to do together for the betterment of our peoples," Singh said.

In Nigeria, he will be addressing a joint session of National Assembly, which, Singh said was a “great honour to India".