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Tanzanian PM comes to India on four-day visits

Last Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 16:21

New Delhi: India and Tanzania, one of Africa`s fastest-growing economies and home to around 40,000 persons of Indian origin, will intensify their cooperation in areas ranging from agriculture to UN reforms and terror during Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo K. Pinda`s four-day visit here starting on Monday.

Pinda, accompanied by senior ministers and officials, arrives here late Sunday night. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will hold delegation-level talks with Pinda Tuesday on a wide range of bilateral and global issues.

Pinda will also call on Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

With East Africa reeling under the worst drought in a decade, the focus will be on agricultural cooperation and food security, official sources said. Northern areas of Tanzania have reported famine, but the country is relatively better off than its neighbouring country Kenya that has been hit hard.

India is expected to provide assistance to Tanzania in the agriculture sector, specially in areas of irrigation and fertiliser, the sources said.

India is also willing to partner Africa in its quest for better infrastructure, small and medium industries, education and health.

Global issues like UN reforms and terrorism too will be important themes of discussion between India and Tanzania, the former chair of the 53-nation African Union.

Pinda will also visit Ahmedabad and Vadodara, from where 40,000 Indians settled in Tanzania.

India sees Tanzania as a "symbol of the evolving aspirations of a resurgent Africa", in the words of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who visited the East African country in 2004.

Tanzania, home to the first commercial wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa, has shot 13 places up the World Economic Forum`s global economic competitiveness list, largely due to improved security and an improving environment for the private sector.

Tanzania`s robust and steady economic performance, coupled with stability and strong institutions, have attracted considerable Indian business and investment.

According to Tanzanian government statistics, during 1990-2006, 118 companies with "Indian interest" have invested $825 million in Tanzania.

Reliance Industries Ltd has acquired a majority stake and management control of major oil company Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation.

Other major Indian companies with a presence in Tanzania include Bank of Baroda with branches in Dar es Salaam and Arusha; Air India; Tata International, which has a MoU with the National Development Corporation of Tanzania for setting up a soda ash factory at Lake Natron; and National Mineral Development Corporation.

IANS



First Published: Sunday, September 13, 2009 - 16:21

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