President of India, Ram Nath Kovind was on an official visit to three African nations – Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zambia from 7th – 12th April 2018.
- President Kovind’s visit to Equatorial Guinea concluded on April 9, 2018.
- Highlights of President Kovinds’s visit to Equatorial Guinea was the signing of three Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Equatorial Guinea in the fields of AYUSH and traditional medicine; medicinal plants; and an action plan for Information and Communication Technology.
Highlights of President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Swaziland:
President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Swaziland on April 9, 2018.
- On April 10, 2018, India announced to donate USD 1 million to support Swaziland’s national disaster management agency and also expressed commitment to the developmental partnership to create local capacities in Swaziland and across Africa.
- This announcement was made during President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to Swaziland’s parliament.
- It is to be noted that Ram Nath Kovind is the first Indian President to visit Swaziland and also the first visiting Head of State to address Swaziland’s Parliament.
- President Kovind also announced that India will establish a Centre of Agricultural Excellence in Swaziland for sharing its experience in the sector.
- During the course of this visit, he also inaugurated and Information Technology (IT) centre built with Indian assistance and held delegation level talks with Swaziland’s King Mswati III.
- Swaziland’s King Mswati III conferred ‘Order of the Lion’ on President Kovind to acknowledge the contributions made by India for advancing Swaziland’s development agenda. Order of the Lion is Swaziland’s highest civilian honour bestowed on non-citizens.
- Highlight of President Kovind’s Swaziland visit was two agreements signed between India and Swaziland on health cooperation and on visa waivers for those travelling on official and diplomatic passports.
Quick Facts about Swaziland:
♦ Capital – Mbabane (executive), Lobamba (legislative)
♦ Currency – Swazi lilangeni and South African Rand
♦ Current Prime Minister – Sibusiso Dlamini
♦ Neighbouring Countries – Mozambique and South Africa
Highlights of President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Zambia:
President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Zambia on April 10, 2018. This was the first visit to Zambia by an Indian president since 1989.
- On April 11, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind held delegation-level talks with his Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
- On the same day, India and Zambia signed four agreements viz. on double taxation avoidance; on mutual visa waivers for officials and diplomats, on judicial cooperation and on the Entrepreneurship Development Institute that India will build in Zambia.
- During the course of this visit, President Kovind also addressed the Zambia-India Business Forum.
- India has agreed in principle to provide concessional finance and support (USD 100000) towards the construction of the Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Lusaka (capital of Zambia).
- India has also gifted medicines and medical equipment worth USD 3 million to Zambia.
- For April 2017 to January 2018 period, India-Zambia bilateral trade stood at USD 1.2 billion.
Quick Facts about Zambia:
♦ Capital – Lusaka
♦ Currency – Zambian kwacha
♦ Current President – Edgar Lungu
♦ Neighbouring Countries – Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola