Wed, 26 Feb 2020

Niamey [Niger], Jan 21 (ANI): India on Tuesday inaugurated its first Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in the West African state of Niger as part of its outreach to the continent.

The Centre was inaugurated by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who is currently on a visit to Niger and President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou. The Centre honours the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary was observed in 2019.

This is the first-ever visit by an Indian Foreign Minister to the West African country.

"Called on President @IssoufouMhm of Niger. The growing profile of Niger under his leadership is evident in the @UN, @_AfricanUnion @ecowas_cedeao etc. India is proud to partner with Niger in building a convention centre that would support its diplomatic activities," the EAM said on twitter.

"Discussions with the President included widening our cooperation beyond energy and water to include agriculture, skills, health and defence. Look forward to joining him at the inauguration of the Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre later this evening," Jaishankar added.

The Centre is the first centre to be established in Africa by India under grant assistance. It is likely to host some meetings associated with the forthcoming African Union summit.

"India's grant assistance for organising the AU summit will further contribute towards enhancing of bilateral ties. The grant assistance is also a reiteration of India's firm commitment towards Africa," the MEA had said in a statement last year. (ANI)

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