India inks 3 MoUs with Malawi, announces over USD 215 mn loan to 18 water projects

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New Delhi: India on Monday extended a new line of credit of USD 215.16 million for 18 water projects in landlocked Malawi and signed three MoUs in areas like extradition and cooperation in atomic energy as Vice President Venkaiah Naidu met Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika here.

During the meeting between the two leaders, India also offered specialised training programmes for Malawi defence forces, T S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said.

The two sides also signed an MoU for an extradition treaty between the two countries and a visa waiver agreement for diplomatic and official passport holders, Tirumurti said.

“The Vice President also conveyed our agreement to extend the new line of credit of USD 215.16 million for 18 water projects in Malawi,” he said.

India will also construct a Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Malawi. It will also gift a cancer treatment machine to the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi.

India has agreed to allow import of mangoes from Malawi, Tirumurti said, adding that the country will also set up a pan-African training institute in agriculture under grant assistance in the landlocked nation.

Malawi has also ratified the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance, he said.

Naidu arrived here on Sunday on the concluding leg of his six-day three-nation tour to Africa, which aims at deepening India’s strategic cooperation with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Underling that India and Malawi shared cordial relations and a similar colonial past, Naidu recalled the India visit of former Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika, who was also the brother of the current head of the African nation.

Bingu, an economist, was the president of Malawi from May 2004 till his death on April 2012. He was also an alumnus of the Delhi University, where he studied in the 1960s.

Mutharika said he consider Naidu “as a brother”.

Naidu reached here on Sunday from Harare on the last leg of his six-day three-nation tour to Africa, which aims at deepening India’s strategic cooperation with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi. He concluded the trip on Monday.

On Sunday, addressing a gathering of the Indian community here, Naidu said the strong bilateral ties between the two nations are cemented by a common vision of developing the citizenry.

According to the Indian Embassy here, there are about 8,500 Malawians of Indian origin who predominantly originated from Gujarat and are concentrated in major cities like Lilongwe, Blantyre, Limbe, Zomba and Mzuzu.

The number of Indian nationals (NRIs) in the African country at present is about 2,500. Most of them hail from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. They are primarily engaged in trading, agriculture and agro business, pharmaceutical and hospitality.

Source: Business Standard

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