NIAMEY (Niger): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the first convention centre established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
The establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) is a landmark for India-Niger friendship, as also a symbol of India’s firm commitment towards Africa, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
It is the first centre to be established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary was observed in 2019, it said. The convention centre has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2,000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from African Union (AU) member states and other high level conventions.
Jaishankar, the first Indian Foreign Minister to visit the West African country, arrived in Niamey on Monday on the first leg of his three-day two-nation trip to Niger and Tunisia. The tour is his first outreach to the African continent after becoming Foreign Minister last year.
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar met Prime Minister Brigi Rafini during which the two leaders discussed bilateral ties. He also met his Nigerien counterpart Kalla Ankourao and held discussions on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues.
India and Niger enjoy close relations. Bilateral relations have expanded significantly in the recent years. India has provided Lines of Credit to Niger for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy and potable drinking water.
India has also extended assistance to Niger in support of organising the AU summit held in Niamey in July last year. PTI