President Ram Nath Kovind will pay a state visit to Benin, The Gambia and Guinea from July 28 to August 3 that is expected to deepen India's relations with the three African nations.
This will be the first visit by a head of state or government of India to all the three countries, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said here on Thursday.
Kovind will be accompanied on the visit by Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises/ Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Member of Parliament Dilip Ghosh.
The President will reach Cotonou, Benin in the afternoon of July 28. He will hold talks with Patrice Talon, the President of Benin, on July 29. Later, he will travel to Porto Novo, the seat of Beninese Parliament. In a special honour extended to India by Benin, Kovind will address the National Assembly in Porto Novo.
The President of Benin will host a banquet in the honour of Kovind on July 29. He will meet members of the Indian community at a reception hosted in his honour in Cotonou on July 30 before departing for The Gambia.
During the visit to The Gambia, Kovind will hold delegation talks with President Adama Barrow in capital Banjul on July 31. As a special gesture, the National Assembly, which is currently in recess, will hold a special session for the address of President Kovind on the same day. The National Assembly Building Complex in Banjul is one of the prominent projects in West Africa built under a line of credit extended by India.
Barrow will host a banquet in honour of Kovind. Other elements of the visit include the inauguration of exhibitions on Mahatma Gandhi and Khadi, and Indian community reception. Kovind will depart for Guinea on August 1.
The President will arrive in Conakry, Guinea on August 1 where he will be received by President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Conde and will be accorded a ceremonial welcome. He will have delegation level talks with the President of Guinea on 2 August. Other elements of the programme include attending State banquet hosted in his honour on August 2 and an interaction with the Indian community at a reception on August 3.
The President’s visit to Benin, The Gambia and Guinea, will be his fourth visit to the African continent.
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