Vice President Hamid Ansari had a five-day tour of Nigeria and Mali in order to further strengthen Indias bilateral engagements with these two West African nations.
About Hamid Ansari :
Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the 12th and current Vice President of India, in office since 2007. Ansari is the only person to get re-elected for the post of Vice President of India after Radhakrishnan.
- He also presently serves as President of the Indian Institute of Public Administration and Chancellor of Punjab University, Chandigarh.
- Ansari worked as an ambassador and served as Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from 2000 to 2002.
- Later he was Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities from 2006 to 2007. He was elected as Vice President of India on 10 August 2007 and took office on 11 August 2007.
- He was re-elected on 7 August 2012 and was sworn-in by Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India. The oath taking ceremony was conducted at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 11 August 2012.
- He started his career as Officer in theIndian Foreign Service in 1961. He was Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Indian High Commissioner to Australia and Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He was awarded the Padma Shree in 1984.
- He was also Professor &Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from May 2000 to March 2002. He is known for his role in ensuring compensation to the victims of the Gujarat riots and pushing for a complete re-look into the relief and rehabilitation for riot victims since 1984.
- During the visit, the vice president was accompanied by his wife Salma Ansari, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal, four MPs and senior officials.
- He also met the governor of Lagos and deliver an address at the joint business forum at the University of Lagos.
Aim of the visit :
To boosting the relationship between the two countries and explore new areas of cooperation to expand and diversify bilateral relationship.
Nigeria Visit – 26-29, 2016 :
Vice President Hamid Ansari arrived in this Nigerian capital on the first leg of his five-day, two-nation tour which will also take him to the another West African country Mali.
- India is Nigeria’s biggest partner in trade in Africa. It is also a major supplier of energy.
- New areas of cooperation were identified – renewable energy, solar alliance, agriculture, manufacturing, health and science and technology with particular interest shown in our space programme.
- In capital Abuja, he held talks with President Muhammadu Buhari and his counterpart Yemi Osinbajo, addressed members of the Nigerian and Indian industry and also the Indian community besides delivering a speech at the National College of Defence.
- It is noted that Some Indians have been affected by criminal incidents especially kidnappings and armed robberies in various parts of Nigeria.
- Apart from kidnapping of Indian nationals from time to time, there was an incident of sea piracy off Nigerian coast in February when 18 crew members of a merchant vessel including 11 Indian nationals were taken hostage by pirates.
- Ansari lauded the role of Indians, particularly teachers and doctors, saying they have been contributing immensely to the national developmental work.
- Over 100 Indian companies have made Nigeria their base to operate inWest Africa, employing the largest number of Nigerians after the Federal Government, and covering diverse sectors of the economy.
- It is estimated that the Indian investments have exceeded USD 10 billion so far, and another USD 5 billion are committed. Indian investments are in diverse sectors such as communications, power, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, automotive sector and oil, among others.
- Capital: Abuja Dialing
- Currency: Nigerian Naira
- Nigeria President – Muhammadu Buhari
Mali Visit – 29-30 September 2016 :
After Nigeria, Mr. Ansari then went to Mali, the first high-level visit by any Indian leader. In Malian capital Bamako, he addressed the National Assembly, Parliament of Mali, and met President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Prime Minister Modibo Keita, CEOs of Indian origin and Indian companies and also Indians posted in the West African country under United Nations Mission.
- The two leaders also witnessed the signing of agreements in the field of standards and for expanding cultural exchanges and cooperation.
- He also participated in the Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque with the prime minister and hundreds of other devout. Two MoUs were also signed between India and Mali, one on standards and the other on cultural exchange.
- Capital: Bamako
- Currency: West African CFA franc
- President : Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta