New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday held bilateral talks with heads of several African nations during which UN reforms, combating challenge of terrorism and boosting trade and investment, particularly in oil and gas sector, figured prominently.
The African leaders appreciated India's development projects in the continent and sought deepening of ties in diverse sectors including health care, education and capacity building.
In his meeting, South African President Jacob Zuma strongly called for reform of global governance system and said the UN structure which was set up after the second world war cannot remain relevant in 21st century.
He said it was important that all like minded countries come together to ensure reform of the UN, particularly the UN Security Council, observing that many conflicts in the world including the Syrian crisis could not be resolved because of veto powers of the UNSC member countries, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The heads of state and government of African countries are here to participate in the India Africa Forum Summit tomorrow.
There was a detailed discussion between Zuma and Modi on ways to tackle threat of terrorism, with both stressing that there was a need for concrete strategy to fight the menace in a united way.
The South African leader said coming together of African countries with India showed to the world that they no longer are dependent on former colonial powers.
The Prime Minister also met Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, and Chairman of African Union. Both the leaders discussed issues of common interest, including UN reforms and the threat of terrorism.
Mugabe is the co-chair for the India Africa Forum Summit, and the two leaders reviewed the preparations for the Summit.
The Prime Minister also met President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana during which both sides reviewed the "warm" bilateral ties.
Growing bilateral trade came up for discussion and both leaders stressed on the need to step up engagement in sectors like agriculture, IT, skill development, cyber security and maritime security. The Prime Minister met King of Swaziland Mswati III. The King spoke of his vision for his country's development, including areas such as infrastructure, renewable energy and skill development and sought India's assistance.
The Prime Minister complimented the Swaziland King on his leadership and vision, and offered assistance in the country's development.
Modi also met Boni Yayi, President of Beni and both the leaders deliberated on growing economic relationship between the two countries, particularly in areas of agricultural, power generation, water supply and transportation.
In the meeting between Modi and President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, issues relating to India's oil exploration projects in that country were discussed besides cooperation in defence cooperation. The issue of UN reforms also figured.
During the meeting between Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, and the Prime Minister, areas of cooperation including healthcare, infrastructure and mutual trade and economic relations came up for discussion.
The historical ties between the two countries and the large Indian diaspora in Kenya were mentioned. Terrorism and UN reform also came up for discussion.
The Prime Minister also met the President of Uganda, Yoheri Museveni, and the two leaders discussed ways to enhance prosperity and mutual understanding between the two countries.